Back injuries are one of the most common injuries suffered at work, and there are a number of causes, some of which occur more frequently than others. Some of the most typical causes for back injury include:
- Slips, trips or falls – perhaps due to a wet floor, loose carpeting or electrical cables
- Lifting injuries – if employees do not receive proper manual handling training or attempt to lift heavy loads unaided, injury could occur
- Falling from height – this is the number one cause of fatalities at work, and serious injuries could be sustained even by falling from a low height
- Poor posture – if employees do not have a comfortable workstation which they can adjust to suit them, they could suffer from back, neck and shoulder strain and long-term problems
Employers have a duty to protect their employees, and must carry out risk assessments and comply with Health and Safety regulations to ensure that staff are safe whilst at work.
The pain of back injuries
Back injuries can be severe and greatly impact quality of life – the back can affect the shoulders, neck, legs and other areas of the body, and once injured your back may never heal. Treatment for a back injury is usually costly and could involve a combination of physiotherapy, sports massage and chiropractic treatment, even surgery in some cases. Some people who suffer from chronic back pain after an injury at work could be forced to quit their jobs, leading to loss of earnings.
Employers should take steps to prevent accidents happening at work, and this includes setting up workstations which are adjustable, so that chairs and desks can be adapted to suit individual employees, preventing back strain. Manual handling training should be provided, and flooring should be regularly checked to make sure it is in good condition and free from obstructions which could cause accidents.
Claiming for compensation
If you’ve suffered a back injury due to an accident in the workplace, the symptoms may not be evident at first. It could be weeks or sometimes even months before the area becomes painful, and you may need to seek medical attention. Back pain can be debilitating, affecting your ability to work and to enjoy your time off, and any claim for compensation will take this into account, as well as looking at the loss of any earnings.
If you’ve been injured due to negligence at work, Accident Advice Helpline can help you. Our patron is Esther Rantzen, TV personality and UK consumer champion, so you know you can trust us to provide you with an excellent service. Our advice line is open 24/7 on 0800 689 0500 and its free to call – we’ll usually be able to tell you within 30 seconds if your claim is viable.