Injury to the back or spine is a common occurrence in the workplace. As reported by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), back injuries were prominent among work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases in 2016, particularly in certain industries.
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.