Spinal Cord Injury RisksSeptember 10, 2018
Spinal cord injuries are among the most common types of injuries that occur in the workplace, particularly in the construction and warehouse industries. Spinal cord injuries range in severity from pulled muscles and minor aggravations to fractures and disc herniations, which can be extremely debilitating. Oftentimes, these injuries cause chronic pain and discomfort, which can affect the worker’s ability to perform his or her job responsibilities.
Employees who are exposed to unsafe work environments are at an increased risk of spinal cord injuries. While there are safety tips that workers can keep in mind, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe work environment.
Examples of Hazardous Work Environments
The following unsafe work conditions can increase the risk of spinal cord injuries:
- Failure to properly maintain the work environment. Employers have a responsibility to maintain all equipment and devices that are used by workers. If repairs are needed, they must be taken care of immediately.
- Lighting. There must be an appropriate amount of lighting for the specific job being done. If there is a risk of lighting failure, there must be emergency lighting available in order to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
- Floors. All flooring should be clean, even, and free of debris. Any spills or other material that can cause slip and fall accidents should be cleared away as soon as possible.
- Temperature. Extreme cold and extreme heat can cause serious health issues. Employers must keep work spaces at a reasonable temperature to avoid temperature-related health conditions.
- Cleanliness. Dust, dirt, and debris can cause a range of unexpected dangers, including slip and fall accidents which could be caused by tripping over objects on the floor.
- Windows. All windows must have the proper screening, or other materials that protect workers when the windows are open.
- Escalators. Safety devices, including stop controls, must be maintained on a regular basis. If the escalator stops suddenly, a worker can suffer a spinal cord injury from falling or making an abrupt movement to break a fall.
- Other fall risks. All types of tanks should be covered, and any other serious fall risks should be fenced in to prevent accidents.
How to Avoid Back Injuries in the Workplace
While it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace, there are steps that workers can take to prevent injury. For example, if heavy lifting is part of the job, it is crucial that workers use the appropriate lifting technique. Too often, workers lift too much using the wrong body positioning. This puts an undue amount of strain on the back and shoulders, which can cause spinal cord injuries.
Also, workers who are in poor health, are overweight, or who smoke regularly, are at greater risk for a range of back injuries. Some surgeons may refuse to perform back surgery on patients who smoke.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers Suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries
If you or someone you know suffered a spinal cord injury while on the job, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We are fully committed to protecting your rights and securing the maximum financial benefits you deserve for your injuries. We will not stop fighting for you until you are fully satisfied. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.