Back injuries are a leading cause of time off from work for employees. Workers with back injuries usually need to treat with pain management doctors and family doctors. They may need to see a neurosurgeon to have a stimulator inserted. Many workers with back injuries find chiropractic treatments helpful. Workers also often see physical therapists on a regular basis if they have back pain.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), back injuries generally occur due to repeated wear and tear on the back over time or due to a single event. Many workers fail to treat their injuries until they just can’t bear the pain any longer, or until an incident, such as lifting something much too heavy, wrenches their back.
Why back injuries happen
The causes of workplace back injury vary depending on the type of work you do. Construction work and police work are very labor intensive. Retail workers and healthcare workers are often on their feet all day long. IT and tech workers may sit most of the day in front of a computer, but they too can suffer back injuries that cause them to lose time from work. Truck drivers need to take breaks to help stretch and relax their backs.
It is important to note that fault is not an issue in workers’ compensation claims. There is no need for an employer to prove the employer caused the back injury. The employer cannot deny your claim because you were careless or negligent. Employers and their insurance companies will often try to argue that conditions outside of work caused your back injury.
Back injuries at work are usually due to one or a combination of the following:
- Lifting, pulling, pushing, and carrying objects that simply weigh too much or are too big to handle
- Not using the right lifting techniques
- Sitting or standing in the same position without taking a break
- Not using the right equipment such as forklift, a dolly, conveyors, carts, or a back brace
- Not getting help from another worker to move any objects
- Trips, slips, and falls caused by due to wet floors, not wearing the right shoes, dirt and gravel on the floors, and unlevel surfaces
Working with vibrating machines such as jackhammers is likely to cause back injuries through extended use. Anything that causes the spine to rotate or twist is bad for the back. Employers should try to rotate the assignments of workers so, for example, a worker lifts only part of the day and does less strenuous work the rest of the day. Employers should provide lift tables and other equipment for their employees.
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we work with a team of doctors who understand the unique complications of workplace injuries. We review your treatment by company doctors. Our skilled Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyers contest efforts by employers’ insurance companies to force you back to work before your injuries have healed. We review whether your return to work should come with medical restrictions such as limits on how much you should lift.
For help with any workplace injury, call us at 423-799-3532 or use our contact form to meet with an experienced workers’ compensation attorneys. We fight for injured employees in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, and in North Georgia.