According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over four million cases of non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported each year. Of these injuries, almost 900,000 cases are back-related injuries that result in lost work time or restricted work activity. In Illinois, back injuries are common in workers’ compensation claims filed with a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer.
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Risk Factors for Back Injuries
Studies by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show that on-the job back injuries are often caused by certain factors, including:
- Heavy lifting
- Bending and twisting movements
- Body vibrations
- Improper work postures
- Static work postures like standing and sitting
The results of OSHA studies show that construction workers and nursing home workers, including nurses, top the list of high-risk jobs for back injuries. A Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer often handles personal injury claims for both professions in Illinois.
High-Risk Jobs for Back Injuries
Back and spine injuries are common in certain professions. Due to the frequency and severity of injuries, these professions are considered to have a high risk of back injuries:
Construction workers spend a lot of time repeatedly lifting, carrying, and bending on a construction site. These repetitive movements contribute to back pain and injuries caused from over-used and/or pulled muscles and ligaments. In Illinois, on-the-job injuries for constructions workers make up a large portion of personal injury claims with a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.
Nursing Home Workers and Nurses
Nursing home workers and nurses are at high risk for back and spine injuries caused by regularly lifting or moving patients. Transferring a patient between the bed, bathtub, and toilet requires lifting, carrying, holding, pulling, pushing, and twisting and turning movements.
Landscapers and Gardeners
The American Chiropractic Association puts landscapers and gardeners in the top 10 jobs for back injuries. Regular mowing, planting, tree pruning, and hedge trimming involve lifting, reaching, bending, and stooping that result in over-used muscles and back sprains.
Working in a warehouse usually requires heavy lifting, forceful movements, twisting, and bending when stocking shelves. Warehouse workers that operate industrial equipment experience prolonged exposure to body vibrations that contribute to backaches and back injuries.
Dentists and Surgeons
Dentists and surgeons often stand for prolonged periods while performing procedures on patients. Static body postures like standing and sitting contribute to poor posture, back and neck pain, and back injuries involving the lumbar region and spine.