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Fortunately, workers’ compensation covers medical treatment for workers injured on the job. At Progressive Spine & Orthopedics, we specialize in diagnosing the source of your back or neck pain and providing relief through minimally-invasive surgery after a work-related injury to the back or spine.

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How Do Work-Related Back And Spine Injuries Occur?

As stated in the OSHA Technical Manual, work-related back disorders may develop gradually as a result of repetitive motions over time, or from a single traumatic event. Acute back injuries can be caused by a traumatic incident after years of repetitive motions that weaken musculoskeletal support mechanisms. Injury can occur to the muscles, ligaments, vertebrae, or discs.

Factors associated with back disorders include:

  • Reaching while lifting
  • Poor posture
  • Poor design of job or work station
  • Bad body mechanics for lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Remaining in one position for too long
  • Twisting or bending while lifting
  • Repetitive lifting of awkward items
  • Maintaining a bent posture
  • Heavy lifting
  • Lifting with forceful movement
  • Poor footing or constrained posture
  • Fatigue
  • Vibration (as with lift truck and delivery drivers)

What Are the Most Common Workplace Injuries?

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports on the top three on-the-job injuries resulting in days lost from work – and all three can cause injury to the back and spine.

  • Overexertion (34%): This includes repetitive motions and lifting and lowering.
  • Being struck by or caught in between objects or equipment (25%): This type of injury involves workers being struck by or against objects or equipment; being caught in or compressed by objects or equipment; or being caught in or crushed by collapsing structures, material, or equipment.
  • Slips, trips, and falls: Falls can occur on the same level or from an elevation to a lower level. Falls are a leading cause of spinal cord injury, accounting for more than 15%, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Which Industries Have the Most Back Injuries?

As stated by BLS, two occupations accounted for 15.6% of all back-related work injuries in a recent year:

  • Nursing assistants
  • Laborers and hand freight, stock, and material movers

More than half of nursing assistant on-the-job injuries affected the back – 10,330 cases in a single year. Laborers and hand material movers experienced 10,660 cases of back-related musculoskeletal disorders. Among stock clerks and order fillers, 45% of work-related injuries affected the back.

Back Injuries in Construction

According to CPWR, a world leader in construction health and safety research, back injuries are the most common in the construction industry. Back injuries accounted 16% of non-fatal injuries resulting in days away from work in a recent year. The risk of back injury varies according to construction subsector:

  • Glass and glazing contractors have the highest rate of back injuries -- 97.8 per 10,000 full time employees (FTEs).
  • This is followed by masonry contractors with 45.3 back injuries per 10,000 FTEs.
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What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover after a Work-Related Back Injury?

The no fault workers’ compensation system was established to provide injured workers with certain benefits, and to protect employers from injury lawsuits filed by employees. Benefits may vary somewhat from state to state. In New Jersey, workers’ compensation benefits after an on-the-job back injury may include:

  • Medical benefits
  • Partial reimbursement for lost wages during recovery (at 70% of your average weekly wage)
  • Disability benefits, when a job-related injury or illness results in partial or total long-term disability
  • Death benefits for surviving family members of workers who die from work-related injuries. Death benefits are 70% of the weekly wage of the deceased worker, divided by the number of surviving dependents, as determined by a judge after a hearing.

Medical Benefits Covered by Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ comp covers all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, hospitalization services, and prescriptions related to a workplace injury. These expenses are paid by the employer’s insurance company, or directly by the employer, if self-insured.

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Who Selects Your Treating Physician?

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJ DOL) states that the employer has the right to designate which doctor will treat your work-related injuries. Injured workers may choose their own treating physician only:

  • In an emergency (in which case the injured worker must notify the employer as soon as possible); and
  • When the employer inappropriately refuses to provide medical treatment
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Why Choose Progressive Spine & Orthopedics?

Dr. Rovner at Progressive Spine & Orthopedics has a simple guiding philosophy: Every patient is treated as an individual with compassion and respect. He delivers the highest level of personalized care in treatments custom-tailored to the individual patient’s condition. He is a certified spine and orthopaedic surgeon known for his progressive, patient-centered approach to resolving chronic back pain and spinal conditions.

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Sources

BLS: Back injuries prominent in work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases in 2016

OSHA: Back Disorders and Injuries

NSC: Workplace Injuries

Mayo Clinic: Spinal Cord Injury

CPWR: Back Injuries in Construction and Other Industries

NJ DOL: WC Benefits

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New Jersey Spine Surgeon for Workers' Compensation

As an award-winning New Jersey spine surgeon, Dr. Joshua Rovner delivers treatments for Workers' Compensation injuries. Board certified to practice in New York and New Jersey, Dr. Joshua Rovner is among few spine surgeons in NJ with depth of experience and expertise for advanced and minimally-invasive spinal surgery. Schedule a consultation today and contact us.

If you are suffering from back or neck pain, it is crucial for you to receive a professional diagnosis as soon as possible. Dr. Rovner is one of the best spine surgeons in NJ who has the experience and expertise necessary to help patients actualize successful outcomes with orthopedic spine surgery.

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