Getting Back to Business | Back Injuries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses are back injuries, and more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year.

In order to help prevent injuries, a number of administrative and engineering controls should be implemented in the workplace, such as:

  • Strength testing should be used to ensure workers are not assigned to jobs that exceed their capabilities.
  • Employees need to be trained on the principles of ergonomics, proper lifting techniques, recognition of hazards and injuries, and safe work practices.
  • A physical conditioning and stretching routine can help reduce employee risks of muscle strain.

  • Evaluate and reduce (where possible) the size and weight of objects to ensure they can be safely lifted.
  • Adjust pallets and shelves so employees are not lifting from below the knee or above the shoulder, which causes increased back strain.
  • Provide employees with mechanical aids or automated lifting equipment.

In addition to implementing workplace controls, employers need to evaluate other factors which can contribute to back injuries at work. Employers should review the frequency, duration, and type of lifting required, as well as individual employee differences, such as state of health and fitness level.

HazMat Student offers 100% Online Back Safety in the Workplace Training, which teaches students about back injury prevention and lifting techniques and guidelines.

For more information on Back Safety, see the OSHA Ergonomics webpage.

Date Posted: 06-17-2015
Tags: back injuries at work, back injury, back injury prevention, back safety training, osha back safety, osha safety topics, osha safety training, osha workplace safety,
Categories: OSHA Safety,