A back injury is debilitating and can cause employees to be out of work for extended periods of time. In 2016, there were 154,180 back (including spine, spinal cord) injuries in the workplace according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, back injuries are avoidable. The following list provides simple ideas on how to ensure the ‘back safety’ of your employees:
1. Be sure that containers and boxes are readily accessible to employees. Angled shelving can make stored items more accessible. The more accessible, the less likely that an injury from stretching or bending will occur.
2. Frequently accessed items should be kept near the workspace. This simple organizational strategy will minimize the risk of back injury by reducing the need to move about unnecessarily.
3. Be sure to label optimal storage heights. This way all items are returned and stored at the appropriate height. Workers may not be aware of the ideal ergonomic storage heights; this will help manage the process.
4. Avoid storing frequently used, heavy items, on the lower shelves because bending over to retrieve these can easily cause injury to the back. If you must use the lower shelves, place lightweight, infrequently used, objects there.
5. Encourage workers who undertake heavy lifting tasks to take regular breaks and listen to what their body is telling them. If they feel any pain or strain, they should immediately stop to avoid an injury and report to a supervisor.
6. Use mobility assistance tools that make moving heavy items and fluids easier such as pumps, siphons, lifts, conveyor belts, rollers, turntables etc. These tools will ease the workload while minimizing the risk of a back injury.
7. Train employees on the proper form to handle heavy boxes and objects. Knowing how to lift bulky items is critical to maintaining a healthy back.
8. Hire an Ergonomist to evaluate the workplace environment to minimize the opportunity for a workplace injury.
At OceanPoint Insurance, we aim to educate our clients on topics that will help their businesses thrive. The health and well-being of employees is one way to help your business grow. We offer a variety of workers’ compensation plans that will meet your needs and your budget.
Contact our team today! to speak with an agent about your goals.