Back injuries at work – Key things you should know
Back injuries at work – more common than you think.
Back injuries at work are one of the most-common workplace injuries that can occur. Most working environments are not set-up to support back-related injuries, and frequently back injuries occur because of incorrect heavy lifting, seating with incorrect support for posture and strains, and incorrect workspaces.
Between 1990 – 2015, disability because of back-related injuries rose 54%, and back-related injuries accounts for 264 million working days lost through the injury. The average salary globally is £11,200 per annum, which equates to £46.66 a day. Therefore, the total number of days for missed work through back-related injuries equates to £11.1bn in lost salary or wasted salary, depending on whether you’re paid for absence by your employer.
The back-injury economy is a $100bn industry in the US alone – every day claims for back injuries at work are reported and compensated for correctly with the right support from professional legal teams.
Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that your safeguarded against back injuries in the workplace to avoid serious injury both short and long-term. Or at least ensure you are seeking professional medical and legal help to support yourself, should you injure your back at work
In the UK you have the right to claim for a back injury at work
Contrary to what some might think, even a strain to a back muscle can result in a personal injury claim. This is due to the UK’s policy of a right to claim for an injury that occurs at work.
Compensation for injuries in the workplace vary, however, for a simple strain, to a short-term minor injury, the compensation amount can be anything up to £9,970.00.
Therefore, it is recommended that even the smallest of niggles/aggravations to the back should be considered for a personal injury claim, and a review/report of the working set-up should be implemented by an Occupational Therapist to ensure the workspace is right for the employee.
Even ligamental damage/injury is identified as a back injury
All types of injuries to the spine, ligaments, discs, cartilage and spine that impact the performance of the back are considered a back injury.
Anything that is directly related to the back and is causing pain, aching or feeling injured should be considered a back-related injury, and dealt with accordingly.
Sometimes ligament or cartilage damage/pain isn’t identified or considered an injury to the back. In cases like these, the injured party should adopt the same mindset they would if the injury was a slipped disc, muscle tear or spinal damage and seek both medical and legal advice/support with their back injury.
Complaints of back injuries higher in desk-related operations
Another contradiction to the stereotypical belief is that back injuries reported at work are highest from desk-related positions. You might expect this to be high on this list, but behind heavy lifting operations, however 54% of all back-related complaints come from sitting at desks too long or using desk chairs with poor posture support and cushioning.
You might think you’ve just been sat down too long, but the configuration of a workspace can be detrimental to back-related injuries at work and should be looked at when considering injury at work compensation.
Furthermore, of these injuries, a large 54% require chiropractic therapy. Again, suggesting it’s imperative that you seek the right support from your employer to provide a workspace that supports rather than hinders your back.
Long-term severe back injuries can result in over £128,000.00 in compensation
Severe back injuries resulting in paralysis, damage to organs and potential restrain on long-term physical exertion result in high-levels of compensation ranging between £30,000.00 to over £128,000.00. However, extreme circumstances and claims may require further legal action and a different claim may require more financial support for the injured party.
What you should do if you suffer from a back injury at work
Never rest on your laurels or take the mindset that a back injury will sort itself out in due course. The back is a core component of our daily lives, and provides support, balance and performance. It is less likely to repair itself without the correct support from correct workspaces, rest, and potential surgery.
Therefore, putting in a report to your employer and a claim for back injury compensation is also key to ensure you receive the right level of treatment, and maintenance should the injury decline and cause more grief than initially anticipated.
Often, if a back injury isn’t dealt with, it causes more problems throughout the whole body later in life.
Ayoub grew up in Bury before graduating from the University of Lancaster. After then completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Law at the College of Law, Chester, he joined a prestigious London magic-circle firm where he worked on a multi-million pound product liability claim, being the highest value claim of its type in the world. He then returned to the North West where he joined a leading practice before leaving to start his own specialist practice. To contact Ayoub, visit the contact page.