Back strains are among the most common workplace injuries your employees may incur, often resulting in costly workers compensation claims. If you’re serious about keeping these injuries to a minimum, here are a few steps you can take.
Leadership on Lifting
Lifting heavy objects is a major source of back injuries, and your company may have training, manuals and posted notices reminding employees to lift carefully. However, proper lifting is still one of the most frequently ignored safety practices. If your goal is to minimize workplace injuries including back strain in workers comp claims, you must be vocal and consistent in enforcing safe lifting.
Slowing Down for Safety
Speed is an overlooked component in workplace injuries, especially with regards to back strains. Many back strains happen when a person is not only picking something up but also turning or twisting to place the lifted object onto a surface. This type of motion doesn’t have to be risky, but it’s often done carelessly while rushing one’s work. Encourage employees to work steadily at a reasonable pace instead of rushing to get through a backlog.
Repetitive work motions have long been recognized as a source of fatigue and injury. Many jobs require doing the same motion over and over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mitigate the risk of repetitive stress injuries. Rotating people from one job role to another or reminding employees to periodically shift between different tasks can lessen the risk that repetitive work tasks will lead to back strains and other injuries.
Most strategies for avoiding back strain at work are common sense, but it’s up to you as a leader to communicate their importance. With the right messages coming from you, your employees can see the value of safety to both themselves and the business.