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Preventing Spinal Injuries in the Workplace

Preventing Spinal Injuries in the Workplace
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Prevalence and impact of workplace spinal injuries in the UK

The recent UK annual statistics on work-related ill health and workplace injuries reflect the serious situation of individuals in the country. Figures present that thousands of workers are affected by several spinal injuries varying from micro back injuries to severe fractures that might result in health problems, including even disabilities. Besides personal health issues, spinal injuries result in financial losses for a company and affect the National Health Service.

Importance of prevention and the role of employers and employees

The workplace should be a pleasant working environment for both employers and employees. The parties should develop the best prevention practices to avoid and reduce the occurrence of occupational health issues such as spinal injuries at the workplace to a minimum. It requires a shared responsibility, determination and collaboration between workers and employers. The Health and Safety at Work Act as well as preventive health care programs provide an employee with a safe and pleasant work environment and reduce the risk of workplace injury. In turn, employers, under that Act, are obliged to protect and respect basic labour and social rights.

Common causes of spinal injuries at the workplace

According to reports, spinal injuries are the most common ones. Falls, slips and trips are the most frequently occurring spinal injuries at the workplace. It only takes a moment to get into serious health problems. Spinal injuries can also be caused by lifting or moving objects with incorrect techniques.  Also, communicating with heavy machinery or vehicles at the workplace might carry a risk of equipment malfunction, leading to some severe injuries.

Employer responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees based on the Health and Safety at Work Act, which guarantees the fundamental rights and dignity of employees. Within the framework of the Health and Safety at Work Act, an employer is obliged to carry out risk assessments, implement a formal health and safety policy in the company, make the workplace safe and healthy, and report injuries and dangerous occurrences.  

Ergonomics and workplace design to prevent spinal injuries

Understanding and introducing ergonomics into workplace design are one of the most fundamental strategies for spinal injury prevention. Ergonomics should be applied at every workplace so that employees can perform their work comfortably and effectively,  avoid the risk of potential spinal disorders and improve job satisfaction in general. For example, the workstations should be adjustable to the employees’ heights and body sizes.

Encouraging employee participation in safety programs

The injury-free workplace is only possible when all the employees’ efforts are concentrated on participating in a range of safety programs aimed at reducing safety and health concerns. Workers should be encouraged by employers to identify and report potential workplace hazards through different communication channels. Employers should build a sense and develop their understanding of the specific goal behind such initiatives.

Steps to be taken in the event of a spinal injury at work

Despite the best efforts and preventive health practices, injuries still happen in the workplace. Therefore, an appropriate and relatively fast reaction along with the medical service should be provided for a worker who got injured at the workplace. First and foremost, one should call 999 or 122 for emergency help. The injured spine should be kept in a neutral position to prevent further damage. The casualty should be reassured and supported until emergency help arrives.

Contact Osbornes Law if you suspect negligence

Osbornes Law deals with workplace negligence and helps people who have suffered a severe spinal injury. Solicitors specialized in personal injury will assist an injured worker in making a spinal injury compensation claim. Visit https://osborneslaw.com/medical-negligence-solicitors/spinal-injury-claims to learn more information about labour rights in this respect.

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