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Occupational Back Injuries: A Philadelphia Attorney Discusses

Philadelphia workers' compensationWhether your job requires long periods of sitting or repetitive physical labor, the likelihood of a back injury is significantly high.  

Occupational back injuries are often attributed to:  

  • Heavy lifting 
  • Repetitive lifting 
  • Bending and twisting 
  • Working in awkward postures 
  • Prolonged sitting or standing in static positions 
  • Whole body vibrations 

They affect roughly 80 percent of the adult population and can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Sprains and strains 
  • Intervertebral disc degeneration 
  • Herniated discs 
  • Spin compression or Radiculopathy 
  • Sciatica 
  • Spondylolisthesis 

Which occupations are at the highest risk?

The occupations with the highest rate of back injuries include:  

  • Construction workers: This is one of the most physically demanding jobs. Workers lift, carry, and pull equipment and materials on a daily basis. Other daily job functions that put strain on construction workers' backs include digging, climbing, and operating tools. 
  • Nursing home employees and nurses: You may not think that nursing home employees or other medical professionals are at a high risk of back injuries. However, this line of work often involves lifting and transporting patients, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) results in roughly 80 percent of all back and shoulder injuries. 
  • Warehouse workers: To no surprise, warehouse workers are at a high risk of sustaining back injuries. This is primarily due to hours of lifting, twisting, bending, and carrying objects. In many warehouses, the work environment is fast-paced, requiring workers to move more objects in a short amount of time. 
  • Dentists and surgeons: Perhaps surprisingly, dentists and surgeons perform their job functions in ways that put strain on the back. This includes long periods of standing, stooping, and bending in awkward positions.  
  • Landscapers and gardeners: This line of work requires hours of repetitive bending, stooping, lifting, and using tools. 
  • Store checkout personnel: While this line of work may not seem physically demanding, anyone who has been required to stand for hours knows how much strain that can put on the back. Additionally, store checkout personnel are often required to lift heavy bags and other items.  

What should I do if I sustained a back injury at work?

Back injuries don't always happen fast. They can develop over the course of months, and even years. However, as long as your back injury was caused by the nature of your work, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. At the Law Offices of Richard A. Jaffe, LLC, we handle claims involving long-term workplace injuries caused by repetitive stress.  

Recovering from your back injury may require months of:  

  • Physical therapy 
  • Massage therapy 
  • Chiropractic treatment 
  • Pain medications 
  • And in some cases, even surgery 

Getting the right treatment for an occupational back injury can be costly and may require time away from work. That's why you should take your claim seriously from the start. Always report your injury to your employer and seek an immediate medical evaluation. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help with the rest. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

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