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Occupational back injuries known for causing temporary disability

Workers in California may be surprised to learn that the only workplace injury or illness that is more common than back injury is the common cold. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says over 1 million workers nationwide suffer the consequences of back injuries -- accounting for almost 20 percent of all workplace illnesses and injuries. Many work hours and wages are lost due to temporary disability caused by back injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends implementation of ergonomic programs that can effectively reduce strain and sprain hazards. Ergonomics involve fitting the design of a job, the workplace and the equipment to the employee. Promoting back safety can prevent or limit overstretched muscles, torn ligaments and herniated disks.

Employees can benefit from learning proper lifting and carrying techniques because these activities cause the majority of occupational back injuries. However, authorities warn that compromised physical health due to one being overweight contributes significantly to the prevalence of back injuries. For that reason, employees are encouraged to do stretching exercises and other programs to boost wellness and maintain muscle strength and tone along with a healthy weight.

Any California worker who has lost wages during a period of temporary disability that was caused by an occupational injury is entitled to pursue financial assistance. The benefits that are offered by the workers' compensation insurance program typically cover all the injury-related medical expenses along with a portion of lost wages. The wage-replacement package will be based on the injured workers' average weekly wage and will cover the period of disability.

Source: blr.com, "Back Safety in the Workplace", Accessed on Aug. 29, 2017

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