Preventing Workplace Injury

Spine and notably low back related injury accounts for approximately 25% of workplace injury and WCB costs in Canada. Lifts and positions are only two common examples of preventable causes. When accidents do occur on the job, early return to work in less than 1 week is noted by approximately 70% of injured workers attending their family chiropractor. This RTW (return to work) demonstrates recovery of health and function, and demonstrates opportunity for lower employer assessment and related HR costs.

Injured workers can contact their family chiropractic immediately when hurt on the job. See the WorkSafeBC website for more information and the chiropractor’s report form.

BC’s chiropractors partnered with WorkSafeBC and Acklands Grainger to develop the Think Twice, Lift Once program. This initiative reminds the public to “Think Twice” before “Lifting Once” in an effort to prevent a back injury from occurring.

Statistics:

  • Back strains account for more than 20% of all WorkSafeBC claims.
  • Back pain has been identified as the most common cause of activity limitation in adults under 45 years of age and is second only to arthritis among people between 45 and 65 years of age.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions cost Canada $16.4 billion in direct treatment costs and lost productivity each year.

Back injuries are just one way to ruin your day. Know your limit and think twice before lifting once.

Some things to keep in mind when it comes to lifting:

  • Maintain a natural posture. You’ll notice your lower back curves naturally when standing straight. Do your best to maintain this posture when lifting, lowering or moving. This position assures the greatest spinal and back stability.
  • Hug the load. Holding a load close to your belly and body reduces the strain placed on the muscles of your back and trunk. If required, wear protective clothing to prevent sharp objects from causing injury.
  • Flex your abs. Contracting your abdominal muscles or “bracing” when lifting, lowering or moving improves your spinal stability. Even slight abdominal contractions can greatly reduce your likelihood of getting injured.
  • Don’t do the twist. Twisting decreases the stability of your back and increases your likelihood of injury. To turn, pivot with your feet rather than twisting with your body.

Company safety officers can learn more about prevention and early treatment for return to work by contacting the BCCA about Think Twice Lift Once. Stickers, packing tape and uniform/coverall badges are available for employers looking to implement the Think Twice Lift Once program in their workplace. The BC Chiropractic Association can also provide guest speakers and presentations to effectively communicate job safety to your staff. Please contact us for more information.

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