Spinal Injury – Is your job a High Risk Job?
Spinal Injury - Is your job a High Risk Job?

Spinal Injury – Is your job a High Risk Job?

Did you know that your job could be a risk to your health? In particular, your back and neck health? Many people are unaware of the risks associated with their occupation, and often don’t realize how changing their job can improve their health. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two occupations lead the list of jobs placing workers at highest risk for neck and back injury; rubbish removal workers and construction laborers. However, this is not limited to manual labor jobs. Nurses also face a high risk for spinal injuries due to the amount of time they spend bending over patients.

Construction labourers including rubbish removal workers have a physical demanding job. Constantly placing their body under immense physical stress with the repeated lifting, carrying, pulling and tugging can lead to overuse injuries. In fact, back pain is extremely common among construction workers. Sources report that more than 30% of construction personnel miss work time due to neck and back sprain or strain injuries.

Additionally, construction workers who often climb ladders or work on scaffolds are at an increased risk of falling or slipping which can sometimes be life debilitating and life threatening, in severe cases even fatal. 

As the population grows older, there is an ever-growing demand and government stimulus funding poured into nursing homes and employment opportunities. Nurses and those that work within a nursing home are also at high risk for spinal injuries. This is due to the amount of time nurses spends bending over patients. Nurses often have to lift and turn Patients which can cause back pain and other health issues if not done correctly. A report from the Bureau of Labour statistics found that 80% of all spinal injuries and linked shoulder injuries are caused by the transfer of patients between different amenities. 

Rubbish removal workers often have to bend down and lift often heavy items or bins. Without the correct posture in doing so over the Couse of their employment can pose longer term problematic spinal or back injuries as there is a lot of forceful movements to jolt the body, bending and twisting often leading to having to take time off work resulting in lost wages.

Interstate removals and furniture movers can also fall into the list of physical demanding jobs often maneuvering furniture items all day and also unloading as well. This constant physical demand of lifting and bending and shifting of heavy furniture can play a huge toll on joints and muscles and if done without proper bending of the knees to support the spine it can pose all sorts of problems down the line.

Landscape gardeners also fall in line with construction workers. They often also cause cumulative body ache by the overarching of the body when hedge trimming, climbing up and down on ladders, pruning, bending over, lifting masonry blocks which can lead to high-risk injury and spinal pain. 

While rubbish removal and construction workers have the highest risk for back pain and spine injury, it is important to realize that many other occupations place workers at high risk as well. If you are experiencing neck or back pain, it is best to consult with your doctor or a spine specialist. Often times, changing your job could improve your health.

The good news is there are a number of ways to reduce your risk of spinal injury while at work. First and foremost, be aware of the risks associated with your job. If possible, try to adjust your workspace to better suit your needs. For example, if you are a construction or rubbish removal worker, make sure that you have proper tools and equipment to help reduce strain on your body. If you are a nurse, try to keep patients’ charts at a comfortable level so that you don’t have to bend over too much. Finally, always be sure to warm up and stretch before starting your shift. By taking these precautions, you can help reduce your risk of spinal injury while on the job.

As you get older the risk is elevated if you are continuously working in these job profiles fortunately, career advancements in these areas means you can eventually reduce the level of practical work required by these jobs by changing job roles within the field. But it is always best to plan ahead when you are in a job that has a very high risk of causing spinal injury so that you can remain in the field of what you love and also reduce your risk of spinal injury.