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Preventing work-related back injuries in Minnesota

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 100,000 workplace injuries occurred around the country in 2013 due to lifting and lowering objects. A startup company has developed a possible solution for reducing these injuries, which is a high-tech back brace that is able to determine what muscles someone is using when lifting boxes and other items.

The back brace also comes with a wrist monitor which tells people whether they performed a lift safely and correctly or not. Even though workers are trained on how to properly lift heavy objects, when people are in a rush, they may forget their training or lapse into bad habits. It is believed that increased awareness of how lifts are performed will help to reduce injuries.

Along with notifying employees of when they may be lifting objects in a way that could be injurious, the new back brace also lets employers know what is going on. This can help organizations identify not only which individuals may benefit from extra training but common situations that may be potentially hazardous. For example, if workers are having to place heavy boxes on high shelves, it may be a good idea to implement steps or a device to help lift boxes instead of putting so much strain on employees.

While there are new technologies available to help reduce people's risk, the reality is that nothing can completely prevent someone from being injured on the job. Those who have been hurt at or as a result of their work are eligible for workers' compensation, which includes coverage for medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages. An attorney can be of assistance to an injured client during the filing process.

Source: Wired, "The Internet of Anything: This Wearable Could Keep You From Throwing Out Your Back", Klint Finley, feb. 23, 2015

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