When most people think of back-breaking occupations, construction, furniture moving, or manufacturing come to mind. The truth is that the nursing profession and nursing assistants in particular, have among the highest rates of back injury. Many of the workers in manufacturing are not allowed to do heavy lifting and have access to forklifts, cranes, motorized hoists, and other devices to do the lifting for them. In contrast, both male and female nursing assistants routinely lift and assist patients who can weigh as much as 300 pounds.
It is one thing to cleanly lift a barbell with a straight back and bent knees but quite another to lift a limp patient on to or out of their bed. The straight back and bent knees technique commonly used by these professionals simply does not work with this kind of lifting.
Besides beds, patients are also routinely lifted from chairs, baths, and toilets. The work often requires a great deal of pushing as well. The handling of patients frequently require hard exertion using awkward postures. A back injury can either occur progressively from the sheer repetition of these activities every day, or can happen from a single strenuous lift.
According to NPR, nursing assistants and orderlies are three times more likely to suffer from back injuries and other musculoskeletal problems as construction workers. The reason for this statistic is that other occupations have directly addressed this problem and consequently have the tools and machines that aid in heavy lifting. On the other hand, many facilities that hire nursing assistants do not provide their employees with the tools they need to do their work. Because of this, many nursing professionals suffer injuries that force them to quit their careers, often at a young age.
If you have suffered a debilitating back or other musculoskeletal injury because you were simply doing your job, our personal injury lawyers will do what they can to help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today.