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Workers' compensation for lower back injuries

Pennsylvania workers who lift heavy objects on a regular basis may be at a much greater risk for developing a debilitating lower back injury. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, job activities that require whole body vibration expose workers to potential injuries to their lower back.

After analyzing 40 different studies on lower back injuries, the NIOSH concluded that some of the most common causes of this type of injury were the use of improper techniques in lifting, unexpected physical exertion and sudden slip and fall accidents. Some strategies for preventing these types of work-related injuries to the lower back include better training on lifting techniques, stretching and the implementation of mechanical aids.

A lower back injury occurs when ligaments or tendons that are located in the lower back become overstretched. If muscles in the lower back are overused, this overexertion may also result in a worker sustaining a lower back injury. After suffering from an initial lower back injury, the injured worker is much more likely to sustain a second one. Every year, more than 1 million people in the United States suffer from a lower back injury, and the total annual cost of these injuries has been estimated to add up to $100 billion.

In addition to causing missed days of work, a lower back injury can have a significantly negative effect on a worker's quality of life. After being injured on the job, many workers choose to seek some financial reimbursement for their lower back injury by filing a workers' compensation claim. Depending on the circumstances that led to the lower back injury, some workers may have a case for pursuing additional compensation through a personal injury action against a non-employer third party whose negligence may have contributed to the injury.

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