Back pain continues to be, well, a pain in the back to workers and employers. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, $22.4 billion in indirect costs for lost wages occurs per year. In fact, on average, 7.2 days of work are lost per person, per year, due to back pain.
We’ve talked previously about the basics of reducing the chance for low back pain using the following steps:
1. Proper lifting techniques: Lift with your knees and tighten your core muscles.
2. Posture: Correct posture isn’t only for lifting. If you stand for long periods, rest one foot on a raised platform or step every so often.
3. Reduce Repetitive Activities: Take a thirty-second break every fifteen minutes or so to stand up, stretch or relax.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and Oregon OSHA developed an app to help protect workers from excessive forces during lifting.
http://www.orosha.org/interactive/lifting/lift_safety.html Online version
This program can quickly help you determine safe loads from a number of positions, frequency of repetition and twisting. Simply click on your type of lift, then the frequency and it will give you the safe load according to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH.)
It’s a great little program for both employees or managers. For more specific information on what you can do to minimize low back pain or help with the new app, contact us at 845.338.5600.