- Low back injuries are a major problem in the United States (US) resulting in billions of dollars spent on health care.
- Two percent of all employees of all industries have a back injury annually (Wong, 2007).
- Approximately one third of back injuries occur at work and result from a lifting and/or twisting incident.
Healthcare personnel are often victims of low back injury due to the nature of their job. In 2009, 59.2% of musculoskeletal disorders were of the back for nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants. Twelve percent of nurses who plan to leave the profession cite back injury as a contributing factor (DHHS, 2008).
Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Nurses had at least 10,000 days away from work for the year 2009.
- Lost workday injuries for nursing aides and attendants are 3.5 times that of the average private industry worker (this rate is similar to construction workers).
- Forty-six percent of total lost workday cases in healthcare facilities are back injuries (compared to 26% of cases in all private industry occupations).
There is a need for change in the healthcare industry in regards to safety to reduce the cases of low back injuries.