HOW TO HANDLE A WORKPLACE BACK INJURY
Back pain is a reality for so many people. Too often, it is the cause of a daily struggle to live a positive and productive life. The back injury statistics are staggering:
- Back pain is the most common disabling condition worldwide. This often prevents workers from engaging in gainful employment;
- In the United States, back pain is one of the most cited reasons for missed workdays;
- In the United States, 264 million lost workdays due to back pain on a yearly basis. The cost is 50 billion in annual health care costs; and
- Worldwide, disability from back pain is increasing at an alarming rate.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over one million back injuries occur on the job every single year. 2016 is the most current information (as of 2022). The prevalence of back injuries on the job almost certainly remains high today. The BLS reflects that, as of 2016, 38.5% of all work-related accidents involve the back. The nature of the job has an impact. Nursing assistants, for example, suffer back injuries 52.8% of all work injuries in their occupation. This is due to the physically demanding nature of lifting or lowering patients throughout the day and other tasks. Other health care professionals including doctors and nurses face similar hazards on a daily basis. Yet, all industries face the potential for back injuries when work duties include manual labor tasks.
Types of Back Injuries
Herniated Disc: often the pushing out of the soft substance inside the disk (nucleus pulposus) which can put pressure on the nerve root. This pressure can result in pain, numbness or weakness. Any of which can be debilitating for the injured worker.
Bulging Disc: this often occurs when a disk develops a weak spot and expands beyond its normal area. Pain can result if the bulge puts pressure on the nerve root.
Back Fractures: can involve compression of the spinal cord with pain and discomfort. A severe back fracture can involve a piece of the vertebra becoming dislodged. This can impact the spinal cord.
What To Do When Your Back Injury is On The Job?
Get Medical Advice and Help
Notice to the Employer: Tell your Employer What Happened
Keep Track of Important Details
Memories can be short and key facts lost especially in times of high stress such as after a work accident. Details of changes to your daily activities are useful to show the nature and extent of the injury. You will need objective medical proof of your injuries in New Jersey workers compensation. But, the impact of your past symptoms and current symptoms on your activities on daily living or working ability can provide compelling supplemental evidence to support a fair and just award in settling the case or during trial before the Judge.
Summary Flow Chart on How To Handle a Workplace Back Injury
Please see below an important diagram of some basic concepts on how to handle a workplace back injury.