Neck and Back Injury at Work
Neck injuries can occur in several different ways, regardless of how they take place, they can be painful and disabling. Many injuries that happen in the workplace concern the neck, and these can range from mild to severe. At their most severe, they can result in permanent disability. The most serious neck injury can lead to quadriplegia, which is paralysis below the neck. If you have suffered a neck injury in the workplace, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation.
Common causes of neck injury in the workplace
Neck injuries in the workplace are frequently caused by:
- Improper manual handling
- Being struck by a falling object
- Slip, trip or a fall
Types of neck injuries often sustained at work
Among the kinds of neck injuries that are often suffered at work are:
- Soft tissue damage
- Torn muscles
- Strained ligaments
- Fracture of the neck vertebrae
- Spinal cord injury
Back injuries closely follow head injuries as the most widespread workplace injury. This is according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The back injuries that occur most frequently in the workplace include:
- Lower back strain
- Fractured vertebrae
- Spinal cord damage
- Bulging, herniated and slipped discs
- Pinched nerves
The majority of back injuries at work occur due to overextending or twisting the spine after having engaged in the following activities:
- Lifting heavy objects
- Sitting for extended periods of time, thus leading to poor posture
Back injuries sustained in the workplace are frequently marked by excruciating pain, and call for prolonged treatment and periods of recovery.
Causes of back pain
There are many different reasons for a back injury in the workplace. It can arise from a single action, such as lifting a box that is excessively heavy, or a continuous, constant strain on back muscles, ligaments and discs that offer support for the vertebrae. Monotonous movements, examples of which are lifting, pushing, pulling, loading and sitting incorrectly can cause your back to become weak or strained.
There are two types of back pain: acute and chronic.
Acute back pain occurs rapidly, but subsides within three to six weeks. Although acute back pain can be agonizing, it is short-lived.
Chronic back pain can persist for over six weeks, for years, or even the duration of your life.
Steps to take if you suffer a neck or back injury at work
If you suffer a back or neck injury, you have a right to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which finance the cost of your medical care, therapy, out-of-pocket expenses, costs of travel to and from medical treatment, and about two-thirds of your lost earnings.
The workers’ compensation process
The workers’ compensation process starts when you initially report your injury to your employer or supervisor. The initial report of injury is generally filed on a DWC-1 form, on which you state information regarding the date, time and cause of your injury. If you suffer a severe injury and have to be hospitalized, you may be unable to finish the form until you have regained some stability.
If you have suffered a neck or back injury in the workplace, call the workers’ compensation attorneys at Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg.