Many people in New Jersey have jobs that place continuous physical demands on their bodies. If you have a strenuous occupation, then you need to protect yourself from back injuries. Your employer also has a legal duty to promote safe work practices that lower the risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal problems according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Widespread back problems among workers
OSHA has found that musculoskeletal problems with the back, neck and shoulders represent a leading cause of workplace injuries. Injuries to these areas can afflict people in many types of jobs from warehouses to offices. A lack of breaks and poorly designed work stations contribute to the problem.
Common sources of workplace back and neck strain:
- Heavy lifting
- Repetitive motions all day
- Prolonged sitting at a computer
- Prolonged standing
After months or years of performing the same tasks at work, you could experience wear and tear on your muscles and joints. The pain could force you to stay home. In this situation, you have a right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Employers should strive to reduce injury risks
Although you recognize that work needs to get done, some managers and supervisors tend to focus on maintaining a fast pace no matter the consequences. In response to this, OSHA has regulations that require employers to promote high ergonomic standards. Employers and employees should collaborate to find safety hazards and improve systems to limit strain. This effort may include redesigning work stations and training people in proper lifting techniques.
An employer should never make you feel like you must hide injuries. You should not face retaliation for reporting an injury or complaining about unsafe conditions.