A back injury is one of the many qualifying physical disorders for Social Security Disability benefits. There are a variety of ways that Portland workers can sustain back injuries including degenerative disc disease and accidents both on and off of a worksite.
One construction company was recently cited by federal workplace safety inspectors for exposing its workers to serious back injuries from cave-ins at a job site. The citations were issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration under its National Emphasis Program for Trenching and Excavation.
An OSHA area director stressed that the employer “has the responsibility of ensuring that its employees are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as trench cave-ins.” The proposed fines against the company total $64,450.
Fall hazards and cave-ins at construction sites are attributable to countless traumatic accidents every year which leave construction workers unable to perform jobs in their past relevant work history. Traumatic accidents which jar or violently shake a worker’s back can lead to ruptures, herniation, compression or other injuries to a worker’s spinal discs. Such injuries can result in radiating pain that makes it impossible for a worker to continue physical construction work or any work at all.
Other individuals may experience back pain not from a violent accident but from degenerative disc disease. The degeneration of spinal discs is a normal part of aging but some individuals experience degenerative disc disease which result in significant amounts of pressure being placed on the spinal cord which makes it impossible to work.
Source: OSHA, “US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites McHugh Excavating & Plumbing for failing to protect workers from trench collapse at Madison, Wis., job site,” Region 5 News Release: 11-1783-CHI, Jan. 5, 2011