How you can help prevent work-related back pain

Sometimes your job is just plain a pain in the BACK!

According the Mayo Clinic’s website, back pain is one of the leading causes of disability! It’s also a very common reason people miss work.

Truthfully, neither you nor your employer win if you miss work.  Even if you have paid time off, it’s no fun if you’re miserable!

While many factors aggravate back pain, there are some common causes for work-related back injuries.  Know your possible back pain triggers and protect yourself!

Believe it or not, sitting at a desk all day is a common cause of back pain.
Not using good posture is one key reason for this.  Poor back support is another aggravating factor.   Your boss can take the rap for cheap office chairs. Only you can prevent poor posture!

Here are a few tips to help you take control of your posture:

Lots of repetitive motion is another key factor in work-related back pain.

If you work in a factory doing assembly-line work, you know exactly what this means. The list of jobs requiring repetitive motions  is seemingly endless.

One summer I lost a lot of sleep for months due to pain from  repetitive motion injuries to my neck and upper back.

Here is a small list given to me by my physical therapist that helped me to recover.

  • Gently strengthening core muscles is key to helping with back pain due to repetitive motion.
  • Listen to your bodyChange up the direction of your motion if you can.  Always bend with your knees.
  • Give yourself a daily massage or ask a friend! Stretch and rub sore muscles  during breaks.  Make sure you take those required breaks, too!

Heavy lifting is the most obvious pain-in-the-back culprit.

It’s a double whammy to work at job in which you must do both repetitive motions and heavy lifting. UPS and FedEx, anyone?

Movers, mechanics,  nurses and medical staff, child-care workers, and almost everyone in the construction industry — our vital “movers and shakers” are everywhere!

Proper back support is key. Most companies that require a lot of heavy lifting will provide a handy back brace. In fact, check your workplace regulations if in doubt.

Practice proper lifting techniques. Thankfully, my summer job at an upholstery shop years ago emphasized this.  “Bend with your KNEES, not your back.”   Have you ever hauled seven couches in one afternoon?  Knees bent– back saved!

Have you injured your back due to your line of work? You want to work, but your back screams at you every day?

Do you have  back pain that lasts for more than two weeks? This is considered chronic back pain. Chronic back pain is often debilitating and can lead to depression.  You just want to be able to function, right?

Seeing a doctor for an evaluation is vital. Doctor’s records and notes are also a genuine evidence of your work-related back pain if you need to apply for workers’ compensation.

Is your workplace ignoring your back pain? Are you out of paid time off? Are you unsure if you qualify for workers’ compensation?

If you are struggling to work due to back pain caused by your line of work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation to give your body time to rest and heal. You need the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer!

http://steimel-law.com/workers-comp.html

 

At The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC  we  aggressively help employees win workers’ compensation and personal injury cases in both Missouri and Illinois.

Attorney Steimel says, “Under the Missouri and Illinois laws governing workers’ compensation, you can be compensated for most types of injuries suffered at work, no matter who was at fault for the injury.”

Call 636-244-3737 for your free consultation today.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

How to protect yourself when you need prescription pain meds at work

Maybe you’re an employee that operates heavy equipment. You’ve also been diagnosed with a long-term auto-immune disease that causes chronic pain.

Chronic pain from your disease keeps you awake at night, sometimes all night. You can’t run the risk of being sleepy on your job. One misstep with the heavy equipment you drive, and someone else’s life is on the line. Most certainly your job is on the line!

Thankfully, your doctor realizes managing your disease requires sending you to a pain management doctor, too.

Together you discuss the options ahead of you. You discuss your job with the pain management doctor, and he still prescribes an opiod pain medicine in addition to other meds needed to fight inflammation in your body. It’s long-lasting pain relief, but you only take it before bedtime.

Your pain management doctor goes the extra mile and writes a note of explanation for your boss.

Yes, you are on opioids. But, yes, your dose is also carefully managed to allow you to safely do your job without creating the risk of a work-related accident. Both you and your doctor are trying to be responsible!

You breathe a sigh of relief because getting a good night’s sleep is a MUST.  You just want to function like a normal human being, right? But, you don’t want to lose your job!

Now for a conversation with your department manager or boss. What DO you say? Should you say anything?

You know random drug testing is always lurking!

You know you will fail the drug test at work even though your pain managment doctor has carefully prescribed what you need to function safely on the job.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road.  Prescription pain medicines are a hotly-debated topic, especially in the workplace. In fact, many companies are struggling to come up with a fair and safe workplace drug policy.  Some simply opt for a “drug-free workplace” which leaves no room for those who struggle with chronic illness and pain!

http://www.safetynewsalert.com/prescribed-drugs-what-can-companies-do-about-this-safety-hazard/

Interestingly enough, the state of Missouri does not legislate workplace drug testing for private employers.

This actually means that your workplace in Missouri is not prevented from running random drug tests. However, they cannot violate the Americans with Disabilites Act.

If you are able to legitimately claim a disability,  testing  positive for certain prescription drugs, even opioids, cannot be held against you.  ( Please note: in Missouri, this would not include medical marijuana.)

This is good news for the disabled who truly need their medicines to function!

What if you haven’t yet qualified for disability?

Many of those who suffer from extreme chronic pain still fall into this category.  And yet, you also need those pain meds to function!

In this case, an ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure. The best place to start would be a discussion with an experienced Missouri criminal defense  and workers’ compensation lawyer.

Since testing positive for opioids in  “drug-free workplace” can require entering a drug-rehab program,  a reduction in workers’ compensation benefits, or even the loss of your job you need sound legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer. You don’t want to be charged with a crime you never intended to commit!

Missouri’s drug-testing laws in the workplace can be confusing! If you deal with chronic pain and prescription meds, you need to know your legal rights and put a plan in place to protect your job.

You will find the Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC, to be both compassionate and aggressive defenders of the everyday employee.   Call for a free initial consultation today at 636-244-3737. Get your questions answered!

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

3 ways to avoid a work-related accident…

A family friend loves to circle the children around him, especially when he meets new people.  It’s story-time!

He flashes his hand with the stubby thumb  and says, “Guess what I ate for lunch?” The littlest ones eyes grow big,  while the older ones give “Bob” a knowing stare.  There’s more to this story — can’t fool the tweens!

After all,  if you only have a stump of a thumb left, you might as well milk it for all its worth.  Gotta make some lemonade with that lemon. “Bob’s” thumb is not going to grow back!

While “Bob’s” accident was related to a home-improvement project on his own property,  many other work-related accidents occur in the U.S. each year. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics for 2015,  some manufacturing businesses were listed as having the highest numbers of work-related injuries.  https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/os/ostb4741.pdf

We’ve come a long ways since the horrors of the 1911 Triangle Factory (clothing manufacturer) fire in Manhatten. Workers were locked inside this high-rise building to prevent theft.  As the fire spread,  most of the young women factory workers jumped out of the windows to their death rather than being burned alive.

Safety and concern for human life seem to be hard-earned lessons for the human race!

With careful thought and planning,  most companies in the U.S. today work hard to provide a safe working environment for their employees.

Still, almost any job has work-related hazards. You could even trip and fall over poorly installed computer wires!
I spent a summer working in a country store deli as kitchen help. Since I was just over 18, I had the joy and privilege of running the giant electric meat slicer!

I was duly warned about the dangers and given training on equipment safety techniques. Still, every time I was sent to slice I breathed a sigh of relief when the job was done.  I really enjoy using both of my thumbs to this day. (Sorry,  “Bob”.)

Based on what I learned to safely operate the meat slicer, here are a few basic work safety tips for every job requiring  the use of tools.

1.) Don’t let co-workers distract you while you work with tools!

Yep! Your fellow man can be both your greatest help and your biggest liability! Talking with your co-worker about weekend plans while running a potentially dangerous tool is a seriously bad idea. It’s like texting and driving.  Just don’t  do it!

2.) Write a list of basic safety procedures needed to do your job if your company doesn’t already provide one!

Refresh your memory often.  Take your list to work if need be.  Being prepared is so much better than operating blindly! Sometimes  on-the-job safety training is simply inadequate. It’s rushed. You only practice once. You come into work the next day a bit puzzled, trying to remember the right steps in the right order.

Ask questions!  Be a pest. It’s okay.  Safe is better than sorry. That’s what your momma always said, right?

3.) Let your boss know when you are under the weather, or seriously “off your game”.

Obviously I couldn’t run the meat slicer if I was coughing and sneezing — a germ hazard for others, for sure.  However, having a headache and slicing meat is an equally bad idea. If you are not “on your game”,  no boss should want you operating heavy or dangerous equipment.  if they do, well, …

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job even if you are at fault,  you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney  in your corner to fight for your rights. Work-related injuries can change your life forever!

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC is licensed to handle workers’ compensation cases both in Missouri and Illinois. You will  receive experienced and aggressive legal help for your work-related injury case. You can find more information here:  http://steimel-law.com/workers-comp.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC wants you to know that  even if you have been denied workers’ compensation, you may still have a personal injury case!  Call for a free consultation at 636-244-3737.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

Construction worker accidents in the FATAL FOUR due to missing work safety equipment!

Injured on the job due to a construction accident?

When you shoot the breeze with a good buddy who works construction, it’s not long before the accident stories begin to surface.

In fact,  a certain family member of mine is legendary for surviving a fall off of a steep, two-story roof.   He was self-employed, working alone, and the house was rather isolated.  Fortunately someone drove by and saw him lying on the ground.

His injuries were not covered by any workers’ compensation.  He lost weeks of work. He spent many pain-filled days.  Recovery was a long, slow process.

The most troubling part was that his injuries were largely preventable.  All he needed was about $150 worth of safety equipment (safety harness, rope, and roof anchors).  Thankfully, he recovered!

Shockingly, according to OSHA, the number one standard that is commonly violated in the construction industry is fall protection!

https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html

We can only take a stab at the reasons. Maybe companies are trying to save money.  None of us want to think they just don’t care!

Or, maybe, like the seatbelt laws, workers just don’t like to  comply and wear the equipment.  Inconvenient? Uncomfortable?

NO survival story bragging rights is worth a slip-and-fall accident! Your life may be forever changed in a terrible way.

Here are some more cold, hard facts for you to chew on.

  • The construction industry accounts for one in five fatal work accidents.
  • OSHA lists construction falls as number one of the “FATAL FOUR”.
  • Falls account for 38.8% of deaths by construction accidents.

These figures do not include the life-changing injuries that often occur in a slip-and-fall accident.

What if you suffer a spinal cord injury? Have you ever imagined your life in a wheelchair? I’ve seen what it’s like — up close and personal.

You need someone to dress, shower, and groom you.

You need someone to get you out of bed every morning and put you to bed each night. If you’re fortunate to have the use of your hands, you can operate your own wheelchair.

You probably need someone to drive you everywhere you need to go.

Someone else must cook and clean for you.

You may suffer extreme pain every single day of your life.

While you can certainly triumph over these circumstances, it’s a life no one picks out on purpose!

Good safety practices on the job ought to be part of living the Golden Rule. 

We’ve come a long ways from the Industrial Revolution era when factory owners put children’s lives at risk daily in terrible, unsafe working conditions.

Sadly,  some  construction companies still do not use or enforce the use of simple, standard safety equipment!

Providing and enforcing the use of safety equipment on the job is in your company’s best interest in the long run.

  • Saves a company’s good reputation.
  • Avoids lawsuits and workers’ compensation pay-outs.
  • Builds a positive company culture.
  • Helps prevent expensive worker turnover.

You should not be afraid to speak up if your construction company does not provide safety equipment needed to prevent or catch you during a slip-and-fall accident.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a construction accident due to a lack of safety equipment, you need to call an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer today. The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free, initial consultation. http://steimel-law.com/workers-comp.html

Call Attorney Steimel today at (636)244-3737.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

How to fight back when your job is a pain in the___________

You fill in the blank! Back? Neck? Knees?

Maybe you’ve spent some years on an assembly-line job.

Or perhaps you do hard physical labor in construction, auto repairs, or landscaping to name just a few.

You don’t mind putting in a hard day’s work for a decent wage.

It’s just that maybe “the old gray mare, it ain’t what it used to be”!  ‘

You’ve got chronic joint pain that hasn’t gone away for months.

Your doctor says it’s time for surgery.

Everything wears out! Moving parts that do the same job over and over have to be replaced. The same thing happens to the human body.

In fact, a rheumatologist once told me that he warns everyone in a career that requires hard physical labor to plan for a career change before the age of fifty.

I’ve got a brother-in-law who works for a luxury car manufacturer. His job required the same repeated body motions day in and out. Unlike an exercise routine, you don’t get to stop working after an hour.

He eventually required joint surgery. He changed positions in his company, too. Happily, his company was fair. They paid for his surgery and his required time off of work. A quality worker is worth the cost! That’s what health insurance and workers’ compensation is for.

On the job injuries do not just mean a slip-and-fall accident!

Chronic pain due to repetitive motion labor should not be ignored by you or the company that you work for.

You are not a captured Roman slave to be worn out and tossed out like trash in the salt mines!

Nor do you work in a sweatshop somewhere in Asia.

The question is — will your company pay up if your chronic pain is caused by your job description?

Any company with integrity that keeps their employees in the same job month after month will factor in “human” parts replacements to their cost of operations.

Worn-out joints don’t just decrease factory production!  Chronic pain is known to reduce quality of life in some important ways.

You suffer loss of ability to perform desired tasks after work!

When my brother-in-law decided to build a small retaining wall, he knew it was time to schedule surgery. Even though he is fit and muscular, his joint injury took the wind out of his sails. He finished the wall, but the pain screamed so loud he could no longer ignore it.

Depression often sets in with loss of normal physical function.

Sleep loss due to chronic pain is debilitating. Your mind crawls at a snail’s pace. Simple tasks feel overwhelming. Lack of accomplishment leads to a cycle of despair.

Relationships suffer.

No one enjoys being around a person who is constantly miserable. Depending on individual pain tolerance, you may not enjoy being around other people, either.  If you suffer from chronic pain, it takes all your energy just to get your eight hour shift completed each day.

Worst of all, you may be unable to hold down your current job due to chronic pain!

If you or a loved one are suffering chronic pain due to  job-related activities, you need to protect your future!

Is your company willing to provide coverage for all your medical needs and the necessary time off of work? Your ability to provide for your loved ones is at stake!

Are you fighting an uphill battle to get help from your company?  You need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer today! 

http://steimel-law.com/workers-comp.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will be happy to give you a free initial consultation. Attorney Steimel will evaluate your case fairly.  He is a family man that knows you need to provide for your loved ones!

Call for a free initial consultation today. (636)244-3737.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.