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Back injuries and North Carolina workers' compensation claims

North Carolina workers and employers alike have good cause to assess personal and workplace habits as they relate to the risk of strain in the lower back. For workers, a pulled muscle or damage to tendons and ligaments is extremely painful, and it places them at increased risk of future back injury. For North Carolina employers, the financial cost is steep, with lower-back injuries representing more sick days than the cold. In fact, workers' compensation reportedly pays out an estimated $11 billion annually for lower-back issues. Study results reported by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health can provide focus on ways to reduce the risk.

The general causes of workplace injury of the lower back include sudden exertion, poor lifting techniques, lack of muscle tone and tightness in the tendons, falls and the cumulative effects of these causes over time. Jobs that require more physical effort or place workers in awkward positions when carrying out routine tasks also represent many claims.

One way of addressing these causes is through workplace education. The technique used to accomplish a task, such as lifting large items in a tight space, can make a difference in a worker's health. Small changes in the setup of a worker's station, like lowering shelves or raising workbenches, can also reduce the risk of back injury.

Any type of injury on the job can result in lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and the increased risk of future injury. Workers and their families alike may suffer financially and emotionally due to prolonged illness and potential disability. Injured employees can discuss their injuries with an experienced attorney to determine whether a claim for Social Security disability, workers' compensation or another option is the best way to recover financially.

Source: Central States Orthopedics, "Work-Related Injuries -- Lower Back", October 09, 2014

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