Back injuries at work and how to prevent them

Back injuries can be life-changing and are well worth avoiding if you can by taking precautions. Employers are bound by the rules of the Health and Safety Executive to make sure that any employee who ever undertakes any lifting tasks is given proper manual handling training but not everyone who hurts their back at work is necessarily lifting a heavy load. Serious damage can happen even when simply bending down to pick up a pen. In this case, it is highly unlikely that it could be considered anyone else’s fault and so there would be no personal injury compensation case to answer, but in many situations, the bending or lifting could be avoided by better work practices.

Beware pain killers!

It may sound strange to say don’t take pain killers if your back or other part of your body is hurting, but over-use of pain medication can cause back injuries by encouraging you to over-extend yourself. Because the pain receptors are dulled, you won’t necessarily get the warning ‘twinges’ and you can injure your back. Not all of the damaged back stories we hear on Accident Advice Helpline Freephone number are to do with slips and falls. Many are caused by a simple bend or repetitive actions; it is these simple movements which can lead to a lifelong back problem.

Keep your training up to date to avoid back injuries

Employers should make sure that you are well-trained if your job involves lifting or moving heavy objects, but if you feel that you don’t do this task often enough to qualify for training but would like to know more, there are training schemes available outside work. A good manual handling course will make your back health better anyway, as everyone needs to lift sometimes, even if it is just the shopping. In general, you should never bend at the waist to lift, but should always keep your back as near to ninety degrees to the ground as you can, using your legs to take the strain. If you find that you start getting back pain on lifting or sitting, without any specific back injuries you should consult a doctor immediately.

Compensation is important if you have hurt your back at work because it can have lifelong implications. Speak to one of our experts on our Freephone helpline; if no one is available, we will ring you back as soon as possible.

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