How too much lifting at work leaves employees with hernias at work

Hernias are five times more common in men than women, and about 95% of these injuries are medically defined as “inguinal hernias”. In the event of a hernia, the abdominal wall ruptures, through which fatty tissue or parts of the intestine protrude. Although a hernia may not be painful initially, there is a visible lump in the groin area, and the hernia can likely hurt during physical activities such as lifting and bending. Inguinal hernias are defined as “indirect” if the cause is a birth defect in the abdominal wall or “direct” if physical activity has worsened the abdominal muscles and causes a fracture. It is estimated that around 70,000 hernia repairs are performed in the UK each year, the vast majority of which are successful. However, a hernia often leads to a long absence from work and the associated loss of income. An injured person may not be able to resume heavy lifting tasks at work and may have to assume a poorly paid role or even change jobs.

Doctors always recommend surgery when a hernia is diagnosed due to possible medical complications if the injury is left untreated. This includes an interruption in the blood supply, which can lead to damage or death (necrosis) of the soft tissues of the body, as well as constipation of the intestine. In hernia surgery, the surgeon must push protruding tissue or intestines back through the abdominal wall and then secure the fracture by inserting a wire or a plastic gauze. In this way, a hernia is defined as “reducible”. Inguinal hernias are particularly common due to the natural weakness of the abdominal cavity and the pressure on the muscles and tendons that make up the abdominal wall in daily activities. While most people recover fully within a few weeks of hernia surgery, the surgery itself can lead to additional abdominal weakness, and unfortunately, patients with hernia experience a high rate of recurrence. Hernia.

Hernias at work are usually the result of a sudden, excessive load on the groin or a repeated load that over time leads to degeneration of the abdominal muscles and tendons. Hernias regularly affect the most active part of the population, which is reflected in industries where the frequency of hernias among workers is high. Lifting and carrying heavy and uncomfortable weights is probably the most common cause of hernias at work. Any other form of physical strain can also cause a hernia, including pulling, pushing, and carrying heavy loads. Hernias can develop from repetitive strains associated with actions such as bending, reaching, and twisting. The key here is the continued pressure on the abdominal wall. Severe or persistent coughing and sneezing can also cause hernias, which can be caused by fumes or other airborne irritants in the workplace. Employers must ensure that their premises are properly ventilated in this regard.

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