Every year, thousands of workers are injured in the course and scope of their employment. In California, these workers can then apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation helps defray the sometimes considerable medical costs for the treatment of the injury, as well as provides a certain degree of wage replacement for the time the employee is out of work. Workers are susceptible to a wide variety of injuries depending on their job, but back and neck injuries are common across many different industries. Understanding the common causes and consequences of these injuries is important if you are a business owner.
One common cause of back and neck injuries on the job is lifting heavy objects or the employee overexerting him or herself. Jobs may require that an employee push, pull, lift, or carry objects. Even if this is an infrequent requirement of the job, any time the employee is handling more than about twenty pounds, he or she could be at risk for hurting his or her neck or back. One way to help protect your employees from these injuries is to make sure they are familiar with the proper way to handle heavy objects and are provided with safety equipment, such as back supports.
Another way your employee can injure his or her neck and back is during a slip and fall accident. Some contributing environmental factors for slip and fall accidents can be poor lighting, cluttered walkways, wet floors, or broken flooring. An employee can slip, fall and sustain a serious neck or back injury when striking the floor or even in an attempt to stop him or herself from falling.
Car accidents can be another cause of neck and back injuries. Truckers, delivery drivers, and home healthcare workers are just a few examples of employees who are likely to spend a lot of time in a vehicle during work hours. A car accident can result in whiplash, fractured vertebrae, or nerve damage.
It is essential that if you believe there is a chance that your employee has sustained a neck or back injury on the job that you encourage them to seek medical treatment immediately. Neck and back injuries can be very serious, and failure to obtain prompt and proper treatment can seriously aggravate the injury.
If you have a question about your rights and responsibilities regarding workers’ compensation and your employees, contact us today. We can talk with you about the role of workers’ compensation with your business.