Back Safety laws & safety compliance analysis

Back Safety: What you need to know

Workplace hazards and conditions that result in back injuries to workers are subject to OSHA citations under the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Back injuries that result from workplace hazards must be recorded on the OSHA 300 injury and illness forms. See the Illness and Injuries topic for more information.

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See the national Ergonomics topic for details about workplace hazards and injury prevention related to back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders.

29 USC 654

Employee exposure to hazards related to heavy lifting and back injuries can be addressed under Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), commonly referred to as the General Duty Clause. The General Duty Clause states that “each employer…shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”

In other words, if an employer knowingly exposes its employees to a recognized hazardous condition that could result in a back injury, that employer may be in violation of the OSH Act.

OSHA has no weight limit on what an employee can lift.


Back injuries that occur in the workplace must be recorded on the OSHA 300 injury and illness forms.

See the national Illness and Injuries regulatory analysis for details about recording injuries and illnesses.

There are no specific employee training requirements related to back safety in the federal rules.


OSHA reports that back strain due to overexertion represents one of the largest segments of employee injuries in the ...

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State Requirements

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