If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is also the most common cause of job-related disability.
According to a recent study by the Sydney University, work-related lower back pain accounts for a third of all work-related disability worldwide. The study showed that back pain is the leading cause of work loss days in Australia, with 25 per cent of sufferers in the 18-44 age group taking 10 or more days off per year, and costing Australia around $4.8 billion each year for health care. That’s one expensive injury!
Most lower back pain is short term, but about 20% of sufferers develop chronic pain. This creates long term and costly impacts. Suffering from chronic back pain not only negatively affects your work life and earning capacity, it can cripple your personal life and mental health.
Back injuries are commonly caused by manual handling. This includes lifting or carrying heavy loads to pulling, pushing, holding or restraining any object.
Good posture and lifting techniques can help reduce the risks, but research indicates that making changes to workplace design is the most effective way to prevent manual handling injury.
Contributing ergonomic factors are also to blame for a growing number of back injuries. This means injuries sustained due to poor posture, bad office workstation set up, awkward equipment design or repetitive job movements.
Steps you can take to Avoid Back Injury at work
The back is particularly vulnerable to ergonomic and manual handling injuries. Safety suggestions include:
Your workplace occupational health and safety coordinator can give you advice about managing the risks associated with manual handling.
If you do happen to sustain a back injury in your workplace, it is important to report it immediately. These are the First 4 Things You Should Do If You Have Been Injured at Work
This is not intended to be exhaustive advice in relation to workplace back injuries. Please contact your workplace occupational health and safety coordinator. If you have any further questions, please contact our office on (08) 9581 4339. We provide an initial consultation at no cost to discuss your current claim and possible entitlements. We also act on a no win no fee basis if we are able to assist with your claim.