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Happy Workers File Fewer Back Injury Claims

Money is the bottom-line when it comes to the health of employees’ backs. Back pain and back injury can result in decreased productivity and increased costs in medical claims, workers’ compensation and disability.

A healthy back, on the other hand, makes for a more satisfied, productive employee.

Research has proved that attitude is one of the most critical elements contributing to the health-care cost of employees and workers’ compensation claims.

Research has found a strong link with back-injury reporting, workplace perceptions and psychological factors. In fact, according to research, disgruntled workers were twice as likely to file a workers’ compensation claim as those who enjoy their job and their work.

Researchers discovered that psychological concerns — such as worries about job security — caused job-related injuries even when the employer took every precaution to protect the worker physically.

Another research study concluded that people unsatisfied with their life are 53 percent more likely to have high medical claims costs than those who are satisfied or very satisfied with their life.

This is why safety and wellness programs are so important.

But to be truly effective, they need to be genuinely integrated into the company’s mission.

This means companies have to do more than just give lip service to these ideas. They must take ownership and really make things better in the workplace. A happier workforce is a healthier workforce and this saves the company money.

Employees will not respond to a wellness program unless they are convinced their employer is taking it seriously.

Once an employee sees his or her employer actually cares about their health, they respond positively. Everyone needs to be on board for the program to work.

Ergonomics should be an immediate priority. People sitting at their computers with poor posture are back injuries just waiting to happen. Back injuries can be very costly. An MRI done to find herniated disc or general disc degeneration can cost well over $2,500. Back surgery can skyrocket to $40,000 and that does include ongoing, post-surgery care.

Pain free people make happy employees and happy employees make fewer back injury claims. The money saved on medical expenses and insur-ance can make the difference between a business staying afloat and a business going belly-up.

But don’t wait for your employer to save your back. Ultimately, you must be your own medical advocate. You, not your employer, are responsible for your own back care and your own happiness.