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Summer Construction Safety Tips

By Workplace Safety

Summer is peak construction season. With higher temperatures and the sun beating down, it is extremely important construction workers are protecting themselves. Although sunny skies and hot weather doesn’t exactly scream danger, it should not be underestimated. Heat strokes and heat exhaustion are common occurrences for construction workers.

Heat Stroke

Put simply, a heat stroke is when your body overheats and isn’t able to cool itself down. The more complex explanation of why this happens is because when exposed to extremely high temperatures, the body’s natural temperature regulating mechanisms fail. This then causes an outbreak of a fever or even a loss of consciousness. The main sign of a heat stroke is high body temperature, specifically a core body temperature of 104 F or higher.

Other signs of Heat Stroke include the following:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Racing heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Not responsive
  • Flushed or red skin
  • Confusion, irritability, slurred speech, etc.

If you think someone may be experiencing heat stroke, seek medical help immediately.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion on the other hand, is a less severe version of a heat stroke. Similarly, this occurs when your body is overheated and unable to cool itself down. Heat exhaustion can transcend into a heat stroke if one ignores it and assumes it will go away on its own. It is extremely important to not take the signs of experiencing heat exhaustion lightly! If you notice your skin feels cool and you have goosebumps (despite being outside in the heat) then something is wrong. This is oftentimes an early sign that you are experiencing heat exhaustion and in need of a break from the sun.

Other symptoms indicating heat exhaustion include:

  • Intense sweating
  • Fainting, dizziness, fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea, headaches
  • Cool skin with goose
  • Muscle cramps

So, how do construction workers avoid heat strokes and heat exhaustion this summer? Here are 5 suggestions to help keep workers safe from the sun.

Take Breaks – Your work can wait. By taking frequent breaks and resorting to time in the shade, your body will get the chance to cool down and recover before your return back to the sun. Working straight throughout your shift with no breaks is unsafe.

Drink A LOT of Water – It may sound like common sense to recommend drinking water, but it’s significantly important and a lot of people don’t drink enough of it. Dehydration is the number one cause of overheating and it can lead to fainting or passing out on the job. This could be life-threatening if you are working at a height or with hazardous equipment. Make sure to have water on site that is easily accessible to you. Also, it is a good idea to bring an insulated water bottle that will be able to stay cool outside, despite the high temperatures.

Stay Healthy – Eating healthy, exercising, sleeping well, and taking care of your body will help you stay stronger on the job and make you better equipped to handle the extreme temperatures.

Dress Appropriately  Construction workers must always wear personal protective equipment on the job site, no matter the conditions. However, lighter, more breathable materials will help keep you cooler. Workers may also want to wear sunglasses to keep their eyes protected from the bright sun as well as a hard hat to protect their head from direct sunlight. Other items to consider include a nape protector or bandana to shield your neck from direct sunlight. Last but not least, be sure to apply sun screen in the morning and regularly throughout the day to protect your skin from getting burnt!

Check the weather and plan accordingly – Check to see when the hottest part of the day is. This way, you can schedule your work around this particular hour or hours  (if possible) and try to get your tasks done in milder conditions, like the morning or the evening. Although busy work schedules don’t always allow for this flexibly, it is good to keep in mind if you do have the option.

At Losi and Gangi, we want to ensure you are protected and safe. If you experienced a heat-related illness while on the job, contact us [link] or call us today at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case.

Article Adapted from: https://www.degemmill.com/summer-safety-tips-construction/

The Changing Workforce and How It will Impact Workers’ Compensation

By Workers Compensation

The workforce is constantly evolving in order to adapt to the changes caused by the pandemic. In recent years, employees have been quitting their jobs at a record setting pace. As a result, companies are facing labor shortages and desperately hiring in attempt to fill the gap. With new and inexperienced workers, there is an increased risk for injury. The same can be said for understaffed companies with overworked employees. 

The Great Resignation 

The pandemic completely changed the workforce and many companies are struggling to retain their workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.5 million workers quit their job in March 2022. We have now entered into a period that many are referring to as “The Great Resignation.” It is a difficult place to be in for businesses, as they now have to construct new methods and strategies that will ensure their employees are happy and want to stay working there. With a great number of employees leaving their jobs, companies are left to deal with a multitude of problems. 

From being understaffed and working longer hours, to figuring out how to train new hires, to making sure the business stays afloat — there are plenty of adjustments, challenges, and changes that companies are trying to navigate.

Inexperience Leads to a Higher Chance of Injury

Businesses are putting out their “help wanted” signs and desperately hiring in attempt to lift the load off of their overworked employees. Having extra hands can be helpful, but it can also bring along several challenges. For instance, new employees lack experience, which puts them at a higher risk of suffering from an injury on the job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data, more than one-third of non-fatal work relates injuries in 2019 happened to employees who had been in their current position for less than a year.

It is very common for new hires to jump into their roles with little time to understand the process of how everything works. Their lack of knowledge and inexperience often results in a serious injury. The worst part is, the injury is usually a simple and avoidable mistake. However, since the employer chose to not train their new hires properly, they now find themselves in this unfortunate situation. It is crucial companies are emphasizing the importance of teaching new hires the correct way to do things, no matter how busy they may be.

Understaffed Workplace Increases the Chance of Injury

Companies that struggle to hire new workers are left in a very difficult position. Their remaining employees are forced to pick up the slack, with additional responsibilities that don’t necessarily fall under their job title. Longer hours, lack of sleep, and increased stress levels can hurt the overall mental health and well being of employees. All of the following contributes to an increased risk of being injured while on the job.

Lack of sleep impacts how we function, both physically and mentally. Brain fog is a common occurrence when you aren’t getting enough rest at night. Brain fog is described as a feeling of not being able to have full mental clarity. This can be very frustrating, especially when you’re at work and have a lot to get done. Since your brain is not operating at its highest capacity, your productivity levels and the tasks you accomplish throughout the day will be lower than you’d like.

Physically, your body is not as alert as it would be with a good night of sleep. Therefore, the chance of making a clumsy mistake is higher and this often leads to an injury on the job. It is so important that employees have enough time to take care of themselves and get the proper sleep they need.

What can Business Owners Do to Increase Safety?

The question to ask is, “What can businesses owners do during this time to increase safety for both new and old employees?” Trainings are one solution that can be highly effective. New employees should have required trainings to complete before starting work. Also, companies may want to consider doing monthly, quarterly, or annual training so the information learned is not forgotten and stays fresh on employees minds.

Businesses that are understaffed should recognize that workers health and safety is the top priority, no matter how busy they may be. Bosses should encourage workers to get enough rest each night before coming in for work. Also, companies should come up with a workflow system that everyone is on page with. This way, no individual feels they are being overworked to the point of burn out and exhaustion. Coming together and working as a team (especially when you are short staffed) is highly important. Recognizing who needs help and giving it can help alleviate the stress and fatigue that so many employees are feeling right now. 

If you have been hurt on the job, don’t hesitate to get the workers compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Our experienced attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. Call us today at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. 

Source: 

https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/case/cd_r71_2019.htm 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm 

Guide to Filing a Personal Injury Claim

By Personal Injury

Once you have been involved in an accident that you weren’t at fault for, you are legally entitled to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the pain and suffering you endured. The process of seeking a settlement is complicated, which is why having a personal injury attorney on your side is in your best interest. Our attorneys at Losi and Gangi are highly skilled, and will help get you the compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Follow along for a step-by-step guide on what to do when filing a personal injury claim. 

1. Seek Medical Care

Your health and safety is the number one priority. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately after you have been involved in an accident. Even if you think the injuries you suffered are not significant, it is still important you get examined. There is a possibility that you may have internal injuries.

Be sure to listen to your doctor and follow along with the treatment they recommend for you. Regular checkups are a good idea to make sure that your injury is healing properly. Also, do not throw away any medical documents – these may serve as a benefit to you later on when filing your personal injury case. 

2. Prepare Evidence

For any legitimate case filed, there’s always a need to prove the liability or negligence of the party liable for the accident. Start by gathering any evidence connected to the incident that caused your injury. Make sure you are storing these in a safe space where you will not lose them. Invoices for your treatments, medical records, therapy, and all relevant documents will help make a stronger case. Another effective way to prove evidence is through photos and videos. If possible, snap some photos or videos of the injury you sustained. This will help better illustrate and depict the damages you suffered.

3. Stay off Social Media

By posting one photo on social media, you can ruin your entire case. Posting a photo of yourself enjoying vacation when you are in the process of filing a personal injury case comes across as suspicious. Even if the photo was taken from awhile ago, the opponent will find ways to use it against you. It’s best to keep a low profile and avoid posting for awhile until things are settled. 

4. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney 

As mentioned earlier, a personal injury attorney will increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. You need highly skilled lawyers on your side to make a stronger case and to avoid manipulation from insurance adjusters. 

Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. If you have recently suffered a personal injury, please contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation.

Article Adapted from: https://www.legalreader.com/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-a-personal-injury-claim/  

Who is at Fault in a Car vs. Bike Collision?

By Personal Injury

After a long winter, the snow is finally melting and things are looking brighter. We have waited a very long time to be able to enjoy some warmer weather. You may notice more people are out taking walks or choosing to ride their bike to get to their destinations. With more people and bicyclists on the road, more safety precautions is crucial.

In the event of an accident, the following question, “Who is at fault when bikes and vehicles collide?” Is complicated. 

It seems like an obvious answer that the car is at fault in a bicycle-versus-car accident. Cars are bigger, stronger, and much more forceful. A car can seriously injure someone who is riding on their bicycle with no protection around them.

Yet, cars and motor vehicles are not always to blame. Bicyclists happen to be at fault for collisions more often than one would think. A common cause for bicyclists creating accidents is they don’t always follow the rules of the road. By law, bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators. This means, they must yield to pedestrians, obey all traffic signals, and avoid unsafe lane changes. 

Understanding the Law 

New York State follows a No-Fault law. This system is set up to compensate injured persons whose crashes arise out of the “use and operation of a motor vehicle”. Therefore, the liability is generally allocated to the driver of the car and not the bicyclist. However, there are instances when a bicyclists is the one at fault for accidents. 

Determining Who is Liable 

In court, various factors determine liability for a motor vehicle and bicycle accidents. Motor-vehicle drivers and bicyclists both need to follow the rules of the road. Motor vehicle drivers should give reasonable room to bicyclists on the roadway and give an adequate warning before making a right turn. 

It is critical that drivers don’t make the reckless decision to drive distracted. Talking on the phone, texting, eating, etc. can all contribute to a serious accident. Drivers are at a much higher risk of not seeing a bicyclist when trying to multi-task behind the wheel.

The same principle applies to bicyclists when it comes to practicing safety on the roads. If a bicyclist decides to swing onto a street out of nowhere, someone driving a car may not have enough time to stop or slow down. If bicyclists are not wearing a helmet, they are at much higher risk from suffering a severe head injury. There are countless examples of how a bicyclist is at risk for injury if not being cautious.

Other circumstances where accidents are a bicyclist’s fault include:

  • The bicyclists ignores traffic signals
  • The bicyclist is on the wrong side of the street
  • The bicyclist rides against the flow of traffic
  • The bicyclist makes a sudden turn with no warning
  • The bicyclist fails to yield
  • The bicyclist does not come to a complete stop at a stop sign
  • The bicyclist ignores traffic signals

Injury and death is a serious concern when it comes to motor vehicle and bicycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 846 Bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2019 in the United States. It’s crucial that both motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists adhere to the rules of the road and use extra caution.

If you have recently suffered injuries from a motor vehicle and bicycle collision, contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. 

Article adapted from : https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2011/05/20/136462246/when-bikes-and-cars-collide-whos-more-likely-to-be-at-fault

Fall Protection and Safety Tips

By Workplace Safety

Prioritizing workers safety is key in helping reduce the rate of injuries and deaths in the construction industry. Did you know that falls are the leading cause of death and injury among construction workers? According to OSHA, Falls account for 34 % of all construction deaths. Eliminating falls in construction would save more than 300 lives every year. 

Three Points of Contact

Placing a strong focus on training and educating workers on the proper techniques while operating construction equipment is crucial. Techniques like three points of contact can make a great difference when it comes to reducing falls. The three points of contact rule means that three out of four limbs are in contact at all times with wherever piece of equipment you are using (vehicle, ladder, platform, etc).

The idea behind the three points of contact rule is to create a triangle with the body. For instance, two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. See image below to get a better illustration : 

In addition to the three points of contact rule, other safety tips workers should keep in mind while working at heights include :

  • Keep your hands free while climbing and don’t try to carry items 
  • Go slow and keep your focus while climbing up/down
  • Make sure to wear appropriate footwear with a good grip 
  • Do not jump off any platforms or heights
  • Always be facing the ladder or piece of equipment that you’re climbing
  • Wear fall protection gear
  • Frequently evaluate and inspect equipment 

Also, when working on equipment like aerial lifts, construction workers should never climb on the platforms edge. Guardrails are used to protect workers from falling and workers should not be leaning over or reaching over the edge. Doing so not only puts the worker in risk of falling, but also the lift at risk of tipping over. Although, it is tempting to want to lean over to reach something that is just out of your reach, it could be life-threatening. The best and safest solution is to lower the lift and move the entire machine. 

At Losi and Gangi, we believe that maximizing the safety of everyone is always the number one priority at any worksite. If you have recently suffered from a fall on the job, contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. We will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. 

Article Adapted from : bigrentz.com

Phil Scaffidi Named Partner at Losi & Gangi Attorneys

By News

Losi & Gangi Attorneys, a Buffalo-based workers compensation and personal injury law firm has named Phil Scaffidi as a partner at the firm.  The announcement was made by Jeffrey Gangi, managing partner for Losi & Gangi. “Phil has been representing injured workers for more than 25 years and has been an important member of our team.” commented Gangi. “We are excited to welcome him to a leadership role with the firm”

Scaffidi graduated with honors from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, LA, and returned to his hometown of Buffalo, New York to begin his law practice. He began his legal career handling insurance defense work before the Workers’ Compensation Board, but quickly discovered he preferred representing injured workers. “It was obvious to me from the very beginning that it was the injured workers who really needed good representation in this system.” commented Scaffidi.

Scaffidi joined Losi & Gangi in 2016 as an associate attorney. He previously served as the Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Committee of the Bar Association of Erie County and remains an active member in that association as well as the New York State Bar Association and the Injured Workers Bar Association.

Mr. Scaffidi has been recognized for his work in Workers’ Compensation by Business First/Buffalo Law Journal’s “Who’s Who in Law” and was the recipient of the 2016 “Attorney Excellence Award” from the Center for Elder Law and Justice.
About Losi & Gangi Attorney

Founded more than 20 years ago, Losi & Gangi Attorneys represents injured workers in the practice areas of workers compensation and personal injury. The firm has been recognized as one of the top law firms in Western New York by Buffalo Business First. In addition to partners Jeff Gangi, Harry Modeas, and Phil Scaffidi, the firm includes 10 associate attorneys and 10 employees in support roles. In 2021, Losi & Gangi recovered more than $22 million dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients throughout Western New York.

Demolition Worksite Safety

By Workplace Safety

Demolition, according to OSHA, is the dismantling, razing, destroying, or wrecking of any building or structure or any part thereof. It is also a common cause of workplace injuries due to the dangers and hazards that come along with the job. Having proper safety procedures in place is vital to keeping workers safe.

The following is a list of tips and suggestions to avoid getting hurt while working on a demolition project. First and foremost, there should be a plan in place before any demolition project is started. So, before you begin destroying and wrecking structures there are things that must be done to ensure it is safe to begin work.

  1. Maintain a Clean Job Site : A messy job site with too many things in the way creates for more problems and a higher chance of an accident occurring. Keep your site clean and remove debris as you work so you don’t have to do it all at the end. 
  2. Shut off Utilities : Turn off all electricity, sewer, gas, water, and other utility lines before starting.
  3. Start at the Top : The safest approach when demolishing exterior walls and floors is to start at the top of the building and work your way down. 
  4. Remove Asbestos : No demolition should be started until all asbestos has been safely removed. Specialized contractors should be contacted to safely remove asbestos and any other hazardous materials.
  5. Clear all Walkways : Make sure workers can navigate the site freely and create pathways that are out of danger zones.

Next, In order to minimize the chance of accidents and injuries from arising during the job, there must always be proper planning, personal protective equipment, and training in place.

PROPER PLANNING

Plan ahead to get the job done safely. Having a proper plan helps not only to keep everyone on the same page, but also helps to ensure that there are protocols to follow in a situation where danger arises. Here are some ways you can prepare for a demolition job and have a proper plan of action in place : 

  • An engineering survey completed by a competent person before any demolition work takes place. This should include the condition of the structure and the possibility of an unplanned collapse.
  • Locating, securing, and/or relocating any nearby utilities. For help, call 811 before you dig.
  • Fire prevention and evacuation plan.
  • First Aid and Emergency Medical Services.
  • An assessment of health hazards completed before any demolition work takes place.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment can play a great role when it comes to protecting yourself from an injury and wearing the right gear can make all the difference. The following protection gear should be worn when working on a demolition project :

  • Hard Hat
  • Safety Goggles
  • Hearing Protection
  • Leather Gloves
  • High Visibility Shirt
  • Safety Vest
  • Work Pants
  • Safety Toe Work Boots

TRAINING

Being trained once on safety procedures is not enough — It’s important to refresh and review trainings so workers stay top of mind on how to keep safe. It is recommended that all employees participate in annual baseline refresher trainings.

If you have recently suffered an injury working on a demolition project or any construction worksite, contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation with one of attorney experienced in construction work injuries. We will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. 

Article Adapted from: 

https://www.osha.gov/demolition

Are Seasonal Workers Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

By Workers Compensation

The Holiday Season is here and it’s officially that time of the year where people are running around like crazy trying to find their last minute gifts. It’s the best time of the year for businesses as they’re making their most sales. However, it can be the most stressful time for workers who are trying to do a million things at once. Many businesses need help and hire seasonal workers.

Having more than enough staff on hand helps keep both workers and customers happy. Workers will get the chance to slow down and not feel like they’re being over worked. Customers will also be satisfied with a better shopping experience where their needs will be met from readily available workers. Oftentimes, seasonal positions are only available for a couple months just so businesses can survive the Holiday Season madness. Even though their time of employment may be short, there is still a likely chance that an injury can arise.

In the event of an injury for a seasonal worker, many want an answer to the following question : Do seasonal workers get workers’ compensation in the event of an injury? 

If you are currently working a seasonal position or know of someone who is, it’s important to know that seasonal workers’ are entitled to receiving workers’ compensation in New York State. There are many reasons why a seasonal worker may be more at risk for an injury as opposed to someone who has more experience there and is a full time employee.

Common reasons include the following : 

  • Lack of Training : Business owners don’t always have the time to sit down and make sure that new hires are fully trained on everything. However, inexperience and lack of knowledge can lead to a bad injury. Proper training should always be a priority no matter how busy things are. If you don’t have the time to train a worker, then you certainly shouldn’t be hiring seasonal workers. 
  • Doing too much at once : Seasonal workers get thrown into the mix at the craziest and busiest time of the year. Oftentimes, they want to be up to speed like the full time workers and over do it by going at a pace beyond their experience level. This then puts them at more risk for accidents like slips, trips, and falls. It’s important to remember that your safety is the most important even when you feel like customers and your co-workers are yelling at you to do things for them. Slow down and go at a pace where you feel comfortable
  • Lack of sleep: It’s very common that seasonal workers already have another job, but picked up the position to make more money. Working two or even three jobs is exhausting and can take a toll on your body. Balancing the long hours with no rest time can also throw off one’s sleep schedule. Working all day at your first job  and then going to your next job to work a late shift or even night shift means minimal sleep. Getting proper sleep is crucial for humans to function properly. Lack of it prevents the brain from thinking clearly, which puts yourself in harms way. 

Seasonal workers can be a huge help to businesses during the Holiday Season, but often times don’t get treated as fairly as full-time workers do. If you have recently suffered a bad injury at work or any other work-related injury, please contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. We will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case.

Article adapted from : https://www.insureon.com/blog/small-business-seasonal-worker-poll

Injured Workers Returning Back to Work

By Personal Injury

Individuals may experience some fear and anxiety when anticipating their return back to work after a long leave of absence. Due to the pandemic, many employees grew comfortable working from home and have no desire to go back to working in person. The same can be said for injured workers and returning back to work. Research shows that the longer employees are out, the less likely they are to come back to work. According to the Workers’ Compensation Board of New York State, 50% of employees will return to work after a six-month absence and only 1% after a two-year absence. 

Returning to work is different for everyone, especially depending on the type of injury one sustained. In the best case scenario, workers will fully heal from their work-related injury and return to their same job once they are cleared by their medical provider. After they are cleared, they will be able to pick up where they left off and perform their job duties with no restrictions. 

Other cases are not quite as simple and certain injuries can create many complications with what you can and cannot do again. Also, the healing process is dependent on how badly you were injured. For a bad injury, the healing process can be long and slow, but It’s important to remain patient and not rush to get better. Your body needs time to recover from the injury it sustained and attempting to speed up the process can just make things worse. 

Dealing with the new limits an injury places on an individual can be very hard to come to terms with. Just like how when a sports player returns after a bad injury and isn’t playing the way they used to, a worker may not be able to fully recover and perform the same tasks that they once were great at doing.

 So, how does one cope with this?

One solution is to switch to lighter duties at work that will accommodate for new medical restrictions. Unfortunately, some jobs don’t have lighter duty work that employees can do and in this case, employees will need to search for a different job better suited to their current abilities.  

The following is important to know : If you return to work and your injury or illness causes you to earn less than before, you may be eligible for certain benefits  

You may be entitled to “reduce earnings” benefits if you return to work at a lower pay rate because your disability prevents you from working at your pre-injury level. Reduced earnings benefits pay up to two-thirds of the difference of your wages and after your work injury. 

If you return to work, but are occasionally absent due to your work-related injury (whether treating ongoing or related issues) you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for the time you are out. This is called intermittent lost time. In order to get it, you must have proof of medical evidence supporting your claim that your absence was due to you work-related injury. Therefore, it’s recommended to keep careful records of your lost time as well as your pay stubs. 

Use the following checklist :

Frequently Asked Questions : 

1) When I go back to work, can I still claim workers’ compensation for the time when I was hurt and could not work ? 

The answer is yes. You have up to two years after your workplace injury or illness to file a workers compensation claim.

2) Does my employer have to keep my job when I am out due to a workplace injury? 

Unfortunately, no. The Workers’ Compensation Law does not require your employer to keep your job for you. Most of the time, employers will keep your job open for you until you can return back to work, but it is not a guarantee. The best thing you can do if you are worried about losing your job is to keep regular contact with your employer about your job status. 

3) Can a new employer refuse to give me a job because I have a workers’ compensation case?

No. Legally, employers are not allowed to ask if you have a workers’ compensation claim and cannot deny you a job for filing a past claim. The Workers’ Compensation Board cannot share any information about your workers’ compensation case with another employer. 

Returning to work after being out for awhile can be a very difficult thing to do. It’s important you know your rights and the certain benefits you may be entitled to. If you have recently suffered a bad injury at work or any other work-related injury, please contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. We will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case.

Article Adapted from : 

http://www.wcb.ny.gov/returntowork/injured-worker.jsp

How to Reduce Back Pain at Work

By Uncategorized

October 11, 2021

Back problems can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. Often times, back pain is the result of an everyday activity done incorrectly. These common activities consist of anything from sitting at a computer in the same position for hours, carrying luggage, heavy lifting, golfing, etc.

Four out of five people have experienced back issues, making it the second most common reason for visiting the doctor. Employers must make their employees aware of what back problems commonly stem from and what preventative methods you can take to lessen the pain you’re experiencing. Additionally, employers should always prioritize workplace safety and enforce safe practices. These simple strategies are highly effective at preventing back pain and keeping it from returning : 

Exercise : It may sound weird to recommend exercise when you are in pain from a back injury. Most would assume that the best way to heal is to rest and limit physical activity. Frankly, it turns out to be the opposite. Rest is always beneficial to help the body recover and gain it’s strength back. However, the quickest route to easing back pain is to actually do some physical activity. Experts recommend regularly fitting some working out into your schedule because it can help ease inflammation and muscle tension. However, it is important to be smart – don’t go out there and try to break your lifting record. Baby steps and taking it light is your best bet (at least when you are first starting). Good workouts to try are walking, swimming, and biking. Swimming is super helpful to try because the water supports your body, which takes a lot of pressure of your muscles and joints. 

Watch your weight : Being overweight can make back pain worse for the fact that is shifts your center of gravity and puts strain on your lower back. A mix of exercise and a healthy diet is important to keep your body in check. Exercise is recommended at least three times per week as well as watching what you eat. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, dairy products, and whole grains will jeep you on track.

Stop Smoking : It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health for a variety of reasons. However, It’s not common knowledge that smoking could have any sort of impact on your back. When we think of the side effects of smoking, the first couple of things that comes to mind are usually cancer, heart disease, or lung disease. However, back pain is in fact another side effect of smoking. Here’s why : smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-containing blood to spinal discs, so smokers are especially vulnerable to back pain. 

Sleeping Position : Do you ever wake up in the morning and just instantly feel sore? It probably has a lot to do with the way you position yourself, your mattress, and what pillow you use. Everyone is different when it comes to their sleep preferences. Talk to your doctor about the best sleep positions if you find you are constantly sore in the morning. Sleeping on your stomach can be especially hard on your back. You also don’t want to sleep flat on your back. The best position to sleep in is on your side. Getting enough sleep is so crucial for your mental health and productivity the next day. 

Be aware of your Posture : The best chairs for preventing back pain is one that has a straight back. If you have a desk job that requires you to sit all day, it’s super important that the chair you are sitting in is comfortable and supportive. Make sure you rest your back against the chair and don’t sit hunched over your desk. Also, try to get up and take breaks from sitting every so often. 

Be Careful Lifting Heavy Objects : When lifting heavy objects, your form is super crucial. You can risk a very serious injury if you try to lift something heavy with poor form. If something is too heavy for you to handle on your own, ask for help.

Here are some tips for lifting heavy objects to prevent a painful back injury :

  • Keep your feet a shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other 
  • Squat down, bending the hips and knees only.
  • Keep good posture. Look straight ahead, keep your back straight, chest out, and shoulders back. This helps keep your upper back straight while having a slight arch in your lower back. 
  • Lift slowly by straightening your hips and knees (not your back). Don’t twist when you lift and  keep your back straight.
  • Hold the object as close to your body as possible 
  • Lead with your hips as you change direction and keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move.
  • Set down your load carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only 

DO NOT :

  • Attempt to lift by bending forward. 
  • Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level
  • Avoid turning or twisting your body while lifting or holding a heavy object 

Reduce Stress : It’s inevitable that one will stress about something in their life. Financial issues, relationships, work, and much more are very common causes to create stress. You probably wouldn’t consider stress to be something that can cause you to have back pain since it happens internally, so many think it only impacts you mentally, but not physically. However, this is not the case – stress does have a physical consequence and plays a big role on your back health. Stress causes you to tense your muscles, and constant tension of this kind can cause back pain. Back pain and stress go hand and hand. Any activity that will help you reduce stress will help you prevent back pain.

Stress also is dependent on the kind of person you are. If you find yourself as the type of person who goes with the flow and handles challenges day by day, then you probably don’t experience too much stress. On the other hand, if you get easily stressed and overwhelmed over small things, your back may pay the price. Working out is a healthy way to manage stress and help control your emotions from taking over you. In addition, meditation, going for a walk, yoga and much more are all great coping mechanisms to help manage stress. In order to be your best, you have to feel your best. Stress is very draining to both your mental and your physical health. Knowing how to control stress will help you be a more productive person. Talk to your doctor if you think stress is getting in the way of your life and holding you back from being your full potential.

If you have recently suffered a back injury at work or any other work-related injury, please contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. We will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. 

Article Adapted from : 

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tips-for-pain-relief

https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/back-pain/quick-tips-to-help-prevent-back-pain.aspx

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=hw206944