Despite the technological advances made and the machinery available, construction work still depends on people lifting things by hand. Many of the items are heavy or awkwardly shaped. The ground on construction sites is often uneven and can become slippery in bad weather. The hours are long, and the pace can be intense. It is no surprise that back injuries are a significant risk for any construction worker.
Back injuries are not always due to a one-off event
While you might attribute your back injury to one key event, it might be the result of repeatedly abusing your back day after day at work. The event you blame may have been the final straw. A series of small injuries can soon mount, leaving your back weak. While you might think that “putting your back into it” is part of the job, it can lead to lifelong problems.
Employers should take steps to prevent back injuries
Here are some things employers can do to reduce the risk that workers suffer back injuries:
- Provide proper training on safe lifting techniques
- Use alternative methods of lifting, such as machinery or hoists where possible
- Plan the worksite to reduce the distances that people need to carry things
- Ensure adequate staffing to avoid overworking people
- Provide adequate rest breaks
- Take complaints about sore backs seriously
Can you claim compensation if you injure your back at work?
Your employer should have workers’ compensation insurance. Seek legal help to file your claim. The insurance should cover any back injury you receive at work. However, because it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of a back injury, you might find the insurer disputes your claim and you need to fight to receive full compensation.