More methods for preventing back injuries

Almost 35% of all workers’ compensation losses result from low back injuries. But before you brace yourself for the lecture in proper lifting techniques, hold on. Current research indicates that 78% of “first events” (or the first back injury a worker suffers) are the result of accidents, not improper manual handling. Here are some techniques for reducing back injuries that you may not have considered. A PEO can suggest many more to your employees as part of our safety training program.

Consider providing more support: An increasing body of evidence supports the view that a high percentage of back injuries can be prevented or minimized by use of PPE’s or personal protective equipment. Elastic back supports are fast becoming ‘all the rage’ in workplace fashion’and not just for employees who lift all day. Because accidents often involve an unexpected event, a typical reaction is for a worker to move in a manner which “turns the body against itself.” This results in sprains, strains, and other stresses. An elastic back support can provide protection, saving you money, and your employee a lifetime of pain.

Improve the environment: We’re talking controlling the environment at employee workstations in order to prevent accidents and injury. Paying attention to keeping the workspace at a comfortable temperature can significantly improve dexterity. Ergonomic office equipment is a proven method for preventing back stress. Even providing improved lighting will help, particularly for jobs that require fine visual discrimination. (Your employees won’t have to hunch over to see what they’re reading).

Most PEOs work with several suppliers to negotiate volume discounts on PPE’s and ergonomic office equipment. For a list of approved back support equipment and information about other injury-reducing PPE’s, contact a member of the Risk Management Staff at your PEO.