12 Pages


It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of people will experience some type of back injury during their lifetime. This is a common injury caused by activities both on and off the job. Common causes of back injuries include lifting, twisting, and reaching. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. One-fourth of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, resulting in billions of dollars of lost time expense and medical treatments on top of the pain and suffering borne by employees. Statistics show that such strains are the most common among workers. Medical experts indicate that back injuries have little to do with the weight of the lifted objects and are the result of lifting improperly. Although lifting, placing, carrying, holding, and lowering are involved in manual materials handling (the principal cause of compensable work injuries), the BLS survey shows that four out of five of these injuries were to the lower back, and that three out of four occurred while the employee was lifting.