20th Dec, 2019 Read time 2 minutes

How to reduce back pain and back injuries in the workplace

Back pain can be a damaging issue both on your mind and body in a variety of workplaces, which is why minimizing it and managing it has been well evaluated in the world of health and safety.  Years of office work can result in lower back pain but there are ways that you can reduce the damage done.

How to prevent back pain in an office environment

When it comes to managing office ergonomics, no matter how beneficial your equipment being in a sedentary position for extended periods of time isn’t great for your health.

  • Try to break up your working day with regular breaks from your office chair every 30 or so minutes. Most offices will give you the opportunity for tasks (such as photocopying) to break up desk work
  • If you have the means, invest in a chair with good lumbar support, this will reduce your lower back pain and increase your comfort at work

If you are unable to alleviate the symptoms of your back pain you should consider reporting your back pain to your employer or health and safety representative. Discuss how your routine work could be done differently in a way that reduces the stress on your back.

What should employers do?

As part of ensuring health and safety compliance in your workplace you as an employer must carry out risk assessments. Analysing the effect your workstation has on your health should be considered within these assessments.

If your employees are DSE workers try incorporating screen breaks throughout the working day and ensure you have properly adjusted ergonomic equipment in your office.

Tips for lifting items correctly at work

Many workplace injuries are avoidable with good health and safety practices. Lifting heavy items can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Remember to follow these tips to help reduce the risk of injury.

  • Think through your lift
  • Start in a stable position
  • Try to keep the weight close to your waste
  • Keep your back straight
  • Don’t twist your back or lean
  • Get help if the load is too heavy for you
  • Make sure you push rather than pull heavy objects
  • Try and distribute the weight evenly

If you keep these tips in mind when lifting it will help to reduce the threat of you developing back pain in your workplace. Additionally, if you are an employer make sure you have a procedure/signage in place that makes this kind of advice and best practice visible to employees.

Get help if you are experiencing extreme discomfort with back pain

As with any issues relating to your health is it important to seek advice and treatment to minimise the risk of long term damage. Broadly speaking, keeping active at work with some caution will help you minimise the risk of back pain.

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