Back Injuries at Work – The Causes

Back injuries are the most common types of injury sustained at work. Most people suffer some form of back pain in their life, but for some, the condition can be debilitating. Back pain is the result of excess strain on the back and the most severe types of back injury involve torn ligaments, pulled muscles, dislocated discs (the sections of vertebrae coming apart) and even broken spines. However, in most instances, back injuries at work can be prevented, and the key is to identify the main causes.


One of the most common causes of back pain when at work is poor posture. In many workplaces, tasks can be quite repetitive and if you are not standing or sitting correctly, this can, over time, cause back injuries at work. For instance, sitting hunched over a computer all day will soon lead to back problems, which is why it is important to ensure you have a seat that is correctly adjusted so your back can maintain a straight posture. In addition, regular bending, crouching and reaching can all cause back problems, so employers should ensure that adequate facilities are in place to avoid these sorts of repetitive actions.

Manual handling

Lifting objects that are either too heavy or by lifting in the wrong way also causes many back injuries at work. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how heavy an object an employee can lift, but employers should not expect their workforce to lift weights that are excessive and could cause injury. For this reason, manual handling equipment, such as forklift trucks and hoists should be provided for employees to prevent back injuries at work. In addition, all employees that are required to lift objects at work should be given manual handling training, which instructs people how to lift properly and thus avoiding damage to the back. Failing to provide these facilities for people, could result in an employer being liable for any back injury sustained at work.

Back injuries at work

By far the most serious back injuries at work are caused by falling from height or being crushed between heavy machinery. In some of these cases, severe spinal damage can be caused that can result in permanent injuries. Fortunately, these types of accidents are rare but they still do happen, often through negligence or inadequate health and safety procedures.

If you have suffered back injuries at work and you believe your employer is liable, you could be entitled to compensation so contact Accident Advice Helpline and we’ll be happy to advise you as to the best course of action.

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