When you hear about people claiming workers’ compensation insurance because they injured their back at work, you may think this does not apply to your job. Perhaps you think it only applies to construction workers who fall and land on their back or people such as landscapers who lift heavy paving slabs.
Yet back injuries are incredibly common in any job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLT) found that one in five of all workplace injuries are back injuries. You can injure your back sitting on an office chair, lifting care home residents into their beds, bending over to pick crops, making hotel beds or loading a delivery van.
If you injured your back before, you might think this disqualifies you from claiming on your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, this is usually not true. The BLT found that when you aggravate a previous back injury, it is almost always due to something new happening. Perhaps you slipped, fell, lifted an overly heavy load, or lifted something too far away from your body. You should be able to claim if the incident that triggered it again happened at work.
Sometimes it can be hard to pin back pain down to one incident. It can often be the result of repetition: for instance, if you sit at the same chair for eight hours a day or spend months lifting hotel mattresses to tuck the sheets under. You may be able to claim for injuries due to repetition.
If you have a back injury, which you think may be due to your work, seek legal help to understand if you can claim workers’ compensation insurance. Failing to file in time could invalidate your claim.