Back injuries can be extremely painful and long-lasting. OSHA reports that "back strain due to overexertion represents one of the largest segments of employee injuries in the American workplace. Only the common cold accounts for more lost days of work." The National Safety Council has stated that overexertion is the cause of about 31 percent of all disabling work injuries. It's important to know what types of acts are likely to cause back strain and how to work in ways to reduce the risk.General Duty Clause: Workplace hazards that can result in back injuries are subject to OSHA citations under the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act
- OSHA housekeeping rules (29 CFR 1910.22) state that "all places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service rooms should be kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition." The regulation makes specific mention of keeping floors clean and dry: "To facilitate cleaning, every floor, working place, and passageway shall be kept free from protruding nails, splinters, holes, or loose boards." The regulation also says that "aisles and passageways shall be kept clear and in good repair."