One of the most common workers' compensation insurance claims is the back injury. Strains, pulls, and damage to the muscles in the back can be painful. They can also make it hard for your employees to continue to do their job.
As a business owner, your goal is to keep employees safe. To do this, you need to invest in proper training to reduce the risk of these incidents. You also need to consider what steps to take to reduce the risk that employees will suffer an injury due to a mistake. Here are some steps to doing so.
Inform Employees of Proper Lifting Techniques
The good news is that it is possible to avoid most back injuries. To do so, employees must learn the proper methods for lifting. OSHA’s Back Injury Prevention guide can work as a tool here. A variety of OSHA-based training programs are available as well. The key here is to learn the importance of lifting with the legs, rather than the back
As a manager or business owner, monitor the ways employees lift and move things. For example, if an employee bends over a box to pick it up, he or she is using their back. If they squat down, wrap their arms around it, and then lift, they are using their legs. Monitor for these types of actions. Simply teaching and monitoring employees is one way to reduce risk.
Other Ways to Reduce Back Injuries
Business owners can be proactive in managing all types of back injuries. Here are a few tips that can help:
- Encourage employees to stretch after sitting for long periods of time. This can help to reduce the risk of damage to the spinal column.
- Prevent employees from doing repetitive activities that stretch the back. These motions, such as reaching overhead or twisting on the job create injury risks. Minimize the frequency of this.
- Use supportive devices when necessary. Back braces and other technology can help to provide stabilization to the employee.
Take a look at your previous workers' compensation insurance claims. Notice any back injuries? Determine the cause. Then, consider steps you can take to minimize these risks going forward. It may be easier than you expect to minimize these risks within your workplace. Vigilance is an important part of the process. Simply monitoring employee actions and installing proper training can help.