Injuries and Illness

Factors That Contribute to Back Injuries

Many people think that back injuries are always the result of one wrong move or one wrong lift, when in fact back injuries typically result from years of abuse that cause the back to weaken until one day an injury occurs.

Factors that contribute to back injuries include:

  • Poor posture when walking, standing, sitting, lying down, lifting, reaching, and so on can result in a weakened back. Train employees to develop a posture that maintains the back’s natural curves in all situations.
  • An unconditioned back can result in back problems, too. This usually occurs when someone that normally doesn’t use their back at work for physical labor becomes a "weekend warrior" and takes on a project that requires a lot of lifting or other back strain. This person will likely suffer pain because their unconditioned back is not used to the strain they placed on it.
  • A "pot belly" puts constant stress on the back that will gradually weaken the back and result in pain or injury.

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  • Poor lifting techniques, such as bending or twisting can also result in sudden back pain or injury.
  • Not asking for help is another major cause of back injury. Workers who try to lift too much often end up with a back injury. It’s important to get assistance, either with a mechanical aid or from a co-worker, when dealing with heavy or awkward loads.

Anatomy of the Back

Another factor in back injuries is the fact that backs are complicated structures composed of a lot of interactive parts, all of which can be injured. For example:

  • There are 33 vertebrae in the spine, which extends from the hips to the base of the skull. These vertebrae protect the spinal cord, which carries vital nerves.
  • Between the vertebrae are gel-filled pads called "disks," which separate and cushion the vertebrae and allow the spine to be flexible.
  • The back also contains many muscles, ligaments, and tendons that connect to the spinal cord with nerves. This system allows the back to bend and turn, and keeps everything properly aligned.

Injuries can happen to these various parts if they are torn, stretched, bruised, strained, or cut. Injuries can occur as a result of a wrong move, or more often, overtime as a result of daily stress over weeks, months, or years.

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All told, this "trainer’s bible" contains 50 prewritten meetings covering almost every aspect of safety you’d want or need to train on, in a format designed to be taught in as little as 7 minutes. Major topics include:

  • Confined spaces
  • Electrical safety
  • Fire safety and emergency response
  • HazCom
  • Machine guarding and lockout/tagout
  • Material handling
  • PPE use and care
  • Housekeeping/slips, trips, and falls
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Equally important is that the program ships new meetings every quarter to respond to new and changed regulations. This service is included in the program price, which averages just over $1 a working day. In fact, this is one of BLR’s most popular safety programs.

If you’d like to personally evaluate 7-Minute Safety Trainer and see how it can build safety awareness, we’ll be happy to send it to you for 30 days on a no-cost, no-obligation trial basis. Just let us know, and we’ll arrange it.

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