Preventing Back Injuries at Work: A Guide for St. Louis Employees

by James M. Hoffmann on May. 24, 2023

Employment Workers' Compensation 

Summary: Back injuries at work are a prevalent issue that can significantly impact an employee's quality of life. This guide aims to educate St. Louis employees about the common types of back injuries, prevention strategies, and the steps to take if such an injury occurs. It also highlights the importance of understanding your rights and seeking professional legal help when needed.

Back injuries at work are a common issue many employees face, especially those in physically demanding jobs. These injuries can lead to chronic pain, disability, and significantly decreased quality of life. In St. Louis, Missouri, it's crucial for employees to understand how to prevent these injuries and what to do if they occur.


Understanding Back Injuries at Work

Back injuries can occur in any workplace, but they are prevalent in jobs that involve heavy lifting, repetitive movements, or long periods of sitting or standing. These injuries can range from minor strains and sprains to more severe conditions like herniated discs or spinal cord damage.


The most common types of back injuries at work include:


  • Muscle Strains and Sprains: These are often caused by lifting heavy objects, twisting, or sudden movements. They can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving.
  • Herniated Discs: This occurs when the soft material inside a spinal disc pushes out through a tear in the disc's outer layer. It can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the back or legs.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These serious injuries can cause paralysis or other severe symptoms. Falls, accidents, or violent incidents at work often cause them.


Preventing Back Injuries at Work

Preventing back injuries at work is a shared responsibility between employers and employees. Here are some strategies that can help:


  • Proper Training: Employers should provide training on safe lifting techniques and ergonomics. This can help employees understand how to perform their tasks safely and efficiently.
  • Ergonomic Workstations: Employers should provide workstations that support good posture and reduce strain on the back. This can include adjustable chairs, standing desks, and other ergonomic equipment.
  • Regular Breaks: Employees should take regular breaks to stretch and move around. This can help prevent muscle fatigue and strain.
  • Physical Fitness: Regular exercise can strengthen the back muscles and improve flexibility, reducing the risk of injury.
  • Safe Lifting Techniques: When lifting heavy objects, employees should bend at the knees, keep the load close to their body, and avoid twisting or turning.


What to Do If You Suffer a Back Injury at Work

If you suffer a back injury at work, it's essential to take the following steps:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: If you're in pain or have suffered a serious injury, seek medical attention immediately.
  2. Report the Injury: Notify your employer as soon as possible. In Missouri, you have 30 days to report a work-related injury.
  3. Document Everything: Keep records of your medical treatment, any conversations with your employer about the injury, and any changes in your work or duties resulting from the injury.
  4. Consult a Lawyer: Consider consulting a lawyer who specializes in workers' compensation cases to ensure you get the compensation you are legally entitled to.


The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has a long history of helping Missouri employees navigate the complexities of workers' compensation claims. If you've suffered a back injury at work, don't hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. We have over 30 years of experience and can help you understand your rights while guiding you through the process of seeking compensation. Call (314) 361-4300


Remember, preventing back injuries at work is not just about avoiding pain and discomfort. It's about preserving your health, your livelihood, and your future.

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