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Improper lifting can cause serious workplace injuries

California workers in many industries have jobs that require proper lifting techniques. Safety authorities say a significant percentage of workplace injuries involve back injuries that could have been prevented. Many workers do not realize that once they hurt their backs, second and subsequent injuries are more likely, which could cause life-long discomfort or even chronic pain. The damage done to their backs over the years can make basic movements such as getting out of a chair or bed a struggle as they get older.

Employers must remind employees frequently about the fact that each lift requires safe techniques. Workers for whom lifting and carrying objects are par for the course might become complacent and desensitized to the fact that repetitive lifting and rotating, twisting and bending of the spine is dangerous. Taking regular breaks and alternating lifting and carrying with other less physical tasks might reduce the chances of back injuries.

Employers must take note that unrealistic deadlines can push workers to rush and put back safety and proper lifting techniques out of their minds. Many of these musculoskeletal injuries occur toward the end of shifts when workers hurry to meet the expectations of their employers. Instead, optimum productivity is more achievable if employers provide safety training to teach proper lifting techniques and allow frequent breaks.

Occupational back injuries often require long-term medical treatment and physical therapy that will not only lead to extensive medical expenses but also many lost work hours. Fortunately, the California workers' compensation insurance system provides benefits to cover the medical costs that are brought about by workplace injuries. Furthermore, if an injury causes temporary disability, a wage replacement package will form part of the benefits. Many workers choose to secure the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the claims process for them.

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