Lower back pain has been revealed as the leading cause for work-related injury compensation claims around the world, according to the latest study from the University of Sydney (UoS).
Lead author Professor Tim Driscoll explained that lower back pain accounts for around a third of all work-related disability, and often arises from exposure to “ergonomic risk factors”.
The impact of back pain on the Australian economy is vast, with 25 per cent of those affected in the 18-44 age group taking 10 or more days off work each year. This equates to around 4.8 billion in healthcare costs annually in Australia.
Workers in the agriculture industry are almost four times more likely to receive injury compensation due to lower back pain disability than any other sector. However, ergonomic risk factors are present in many occupations.
These risks include lifting, forceful movement, awkward positions and vibrations. These factors are common in a vast range of industries, including agriculture, construction and trades.
According to the report, one quarter of the Australian population is suffering back pain on any given day. Additionally, nearly 80 per cent of all adult Australians will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime.
“Lower back pain arising from ergonomic exposures at work is a major cause of disability worldwide. There is a need for improved information on exposure risks, particularly in developing countries, to help better understand the burden,” Mr Driscoll said in an April 1 UoS media release. “This should lead to better prevention of back pain and injury, as well as decreased lost work time due to back pain.”
If you have been affected by back pain caused by work-related duties, you may be entitled to additional injury compensation. Even after a decision has been made by your organisation’s insurer, you have the ability to appeal the level of compensation you are entitled to receive.
The WorkCover Independent Review Office recently released a report that revealed many workers are unaware of their right to contest workers’ compensation claims, primarily because they are prevented from accessing independent advice and guidance.
“They’re restricted from getting legal advice about work capacity which is one of the main tests for eligibility for compensation … and that’s unfortunate,” WorkCover Independent Review Officer Kim Garling told ABC Australia on March 5.
If you believe you are entitled to further injury compensation due to a back pain disability, get in touch with compensations lawyers today!