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Work Related Back Injuries

Individuals who must lift heavy objects or provide manual labor are trained to lift properly. People who work in "average" jobs are not always trained in lifting. Whether you work in construction or provide office support proper lifting technique is essential knowledge in remaining healthy. Causing back strain can be as simple as lifting a ten pound object while twisting. The first thing to know in preventing back injuries is proper lifting and carrying technique. Follow these simple steps to lessen the probability of back strain:

1. Create a load you can carry
Do not stack items which can slip or slide
When placing multiple items in a box do not
put too many heavy object together
Use tools like lifting sraps if necessary
Ask for help when something is too heavy

2. Get into the right position!
Place your feet shoulder width apart
If the object is small enough place one foot behind it
and the other next to it

3. Get as close as possible to the object you're lifting
Bend at the knees NOT the waist (in a squatting stance)

4. Grip the object firmly
Get your arms around as much of the object as possible
Use your entire hand when gripping

5. Stand up smoothly
Keep the object close
Use your legs to lift NOT your back
Keep your back as straight as you can

6. Do not twist at the waist
While walking turn your feet and follow with your
entire body (as if you were marching)

7. Sit the object down carefully
Use the same squatting stance and straight back
as you did when you lifted it
It is also easier to place the object on the highest
surface possible (counter or table rather than floor)

This is the best way to prevent back injuries when lifting. Keeping your muscles strong through proper nutrition and exercise is also helpful. If you lift regularly you should focus on your abdominals, leg/thigh muscles, and try back strengthening exercises. Don't overwork your body. Listen to your body's cues and take a break when you need to. Becoming tired and rushing through your work leads to improper lifting and carrying.

If you do feel back pain when lifting stop immediately. Tell someone right away and follow your company's procedure for reporting a workplace injury.

Be aware of your company's policy prior to needing it! Know how they provide workers' compensation and what steps to take to get your benefits. If your company does not follow through with policy you will need legal representation. Remember, you don't have to work in a manual labor position to end up needing workers' compensation. Just this year in Chicago a medical student found herself in need of benefits. When her needs were not met she contacted a Chicago workers compensation attorney to assist her with attaining workers' compensation. In any work place you should use caution and proper techniques when lifting and know your procedures and rights when it comes to filing for workers' compensation.

About the Author: Brooke Haley marketing associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation lawyer that practice in the areas of Civil Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts within the State of Illinois. For more information, please visit http://www.millonpeskin.com.

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