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Nursing homes have a high rate of back injuries. This is often from moving or transferring patients. Sometimes managers or even patients do not like mechanical lift equipment. However, that is not a reason to put employee safety at risk. Lifting loads heavier than about 50 pounds increases the risk of injury, so it is very important to use lifting assistance devices.

A Closer Look At Nursing Home Injuries

QUESTION: I work as a CNA in a nursing home. Last week I wrenched my back helping to lift a resident. I went to the doctor and it is somewhat better now. If it gets worse, can I get workers’ comp? How do I avoid getting hurt again?

ANSWER: Back injuries are covered under workers’ compensation. According to OSHA, shoulder and back injuries caused over 36 percent of injuries involving missed workdays in 2001 mostly from overexertion and cumulative trauma.

Workplace lifting may also cause muscle pulls and sprains, wrist injuries, elbow injuries and spinal injuries.

Even if your back is somewhat better now, it is best to have your doctor monitor your condition. Further lifting may reinjure or worsen your back pain. Also, sometimes a back injury leads to pain that lasts several months or there may be a more serious injury where pain medication masks the need for further treatment.

Here are some ways to avoid back injuries in the future:

  • Avoid repetition. The longer you hold an item, even if it is light, the larger the risk of back and shoulder injury. Repeated exertion fatigues muscles.
  • Avoid awkward postures. Bending while lifting forces the back to support the weight of the upper body in addition to the weight being lifted, which increases stress on the lower spine and fatigues muscles. Carrying loads on one shoulder, under an arm or in one hand creates uneven spinal pressure.
  • Remember lifting basics
    1. Hug the spine.
    2. Bend the knees.
    3. Don’t bend over.
    4. Keep legs a proper width apart.
    5. Avoid twisting.
    6. Use lifting assistance devices and back support belts.

Eastern Iowa Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Mark helps injured workers from all industries maximize the amount of workers’ compensation benefits they receive. If you have been injured in a nursing home or any work setting, you need to ensure that you receive all available workers’ compensation benefits. Mark and his experience team is ready to help you build the strong case you need. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 319-366-7888, or contact my office online.

Mark takes all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency fee basis. Attorney fees are collected only if compensation is recovered for you.

Practice Areas

Workers’ compensation is a critical system in place to protect employees who suffer from workplace injuries or illnesses, ensuring they receive the necessary medical attention and financial support during their recovery. Common workplace injuries range from strains and sprains, fractures, cuts, burns, to more severe cases like chronic illnesses due to long-term exposure to harmful substances, or injuries resulting from machinery malfunctions. The nature of these injuries can vary significantly across different industries, with some sectors being more prone to specific types of accidents.


Workers’ compensation plays a vital role in the construction industry, a field well-known for its high-risk work environments and the potential for severe accidents. Construction accidents can range from falls, machinery malfunctions, electrocutions, to being struck by falling objects, each bringing their own set of challenges in terms of both prevention and compensation. The intricate nature of construction work necessitates a thorough understanding of workers’ compensation laws to ensure that injured workers receive the appropriate medical care and financial support.

The roofing industry is notorious for its perilous working conditions, with employees routinely exposed to the risks of falls, equipment mishaps, and adverse weather conditions. Workers’ compensation serves as a vital safety net for roofing professionals, providing essential medical benefits and wage replacement in the unfortunate event of a workplace accident. Roofing accidents can result in a wide array of injuries, ranging from broken bones and concussions to more severe, life-altering conditions.

The manufacturing sector, with its heavy machinery, high-paced environment, and complex processes, is a hotspot for workplace accidents, making workers’ compensation a crucial component of employee welfare. Manufacturing accidents can vary widely, from machinery-related injuries, exposure to harmful substances, repetitive strain injuries, to severe accidents resulting in long-term disability or fatality. Navigating the workers’ compensation system in the event of a manufacturing accident requires a thorough understanding of both the legal framework and the specific nature of manufacturing injuries.

Workers in nursing homes play a crucial role in providing care and support to elderly and vulnerable populations, yet they are frequently exposed to a range of occupational hazards that can lead to serious injuries. From lifting and assisting residents, handling medical equipment, to potential exposure to infectious diseases, nursing home employees face daily risks that underscore the importance of comprehensive workers’ compensation coverage. Injuries in this sector may include back and shoulder strains, slips and falls, needlestick injuries, and more, each requiring immediate attention and adequate compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

Volunteer emergency service employees provide invaluable contributions to their communities, often placing themselves in harm’s way to assist others during crises. However, the very nature of their work exposes them to a high risk of injury, making workers’ compensation a crucial consideration. From responding to accidents, natural disasters, to medical emergencies, these volunteers face potential injuries such as sprains, fractures, burns, exposure to hazardous materials, and psychological trauma.

Workers’ compensation benefits serve as a vital safety net for employees who sustain injuries or illnesses as a result of their work, providing essential financial support and access to medical care. These benefits encompass a range of provisions, including medical expense coverage, compensation for lost wages, disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and in some tragic instances, death benefits for the dependents of workers who have lost their lives on the job.

Navigating the intricacies of workers’ compensation in Eastern Iowa can be a daunting task, fraught with complex legal procedures and specific regional policies. Employees who have sustained injuries or illnesses on the job are often met with a barrage of questions about their rights, the extent of coverage they can receive, and the process for filing a claim.

Cedar Rapids Workers' Compensation Attorney

With over 30 years of experience in successfully navigating clients through their workers’ comp claims, Mark Chipokas is a dedicated attorney with a deep understanding of workers’ compensation law, committed to helping his clients maximize their benefits.