Back Injuries at Work

Whilst back pain is one of the most common complaints that causes a trip to the doctor in the UK, if you are suffering from back pain because of a significant accident it can be even more unpleasant to cope with. If you have suffered an injury in your workplace, then you could be eligible to make a back injury at work claim.

What could have caused my back pain?

There are a number of things that could happen at work that could lead to back pain. These can include:

  • Lifting and moving heavy items in an incorrect way
  • Repetitive strain injury from carrying out certain tasks
  • Sitting in an incorrect manner at a workstation or desk for a long period of time
  • Carrying out tasks that require you to be in an awkward position for a long period of time, e.g. bending over or crouching

Lower back pain, known medically as lumbago, is thought to have an impact on up to 8 in every 10 people at some point in their lives. The associate clinical director of Bupa, Dr Luke Powles, explains that; ‘Lower back pain, or lumbago, occurs when there is a problem with ligaments, muscles, discs, nerves or vertebrae – the bony structure that makes up the spine. Back pain that develops quickly and lasts for less than three months is called ‘acute back pain.’ He adds that, ‘Pain that goes on for longer than three months is classified as ‘chronic back pain’ – and indicates that any treatment carried out in the initial 3 months was not successful. Re-iterating the ways in which incorrect workplace safety standards can lead to injury, he states that ‘three main causes of back pain are force, repetition and inactivity. Heavy lifting can lead to muscle or ligament strain resulting in painful muscle spasms, as can repetitive movements such as twisting or bending the spine. Similarly, bad posture and sitting for long periods of time can have ill-effect.’

What should I do?

If you have suffered from any form of traumatic back injury, you must seek medical advice as soon as possible to ensure that you have not caused any significant damage or suffered from a rare but serious complication of nerve compression in the lower spine. Seeing a physiotherapist may also be a good option to assess any back pain that you may be suffering from in general.

What is my employer required to do?

Your employer is always legally required to protect your health and safety in the workplace. They should carry out regular risk assessments and put safety measures and procedures in place to reduce and remove any potential dangers where they can. If this has not happened, and you have suffered even a moderate back injury at the fault of your employer then you could be able to make a claim against them. Whether it’s from a significant trauma or from extensive incorrect posture, all back pain can negatively impact your life and stop you from carrying out the tasks that you need to live life to the fullest. With monetary help, you can receive the right treatment to get your life back on track.