During their careers, nearly 3 percent of all workers will suffer a workplace injury. Some of the worst injuries come as a result of lifting.
Lifting injuries can permanently inhibit your ability to lift or carry objects that weigh even less than 20 pounds. When lifting injuries can be so consequential, how can you prevent them from happening?
Proper lifting technique
Part of what causes lifting injuries is how people lift heavy objects. When you are lifting anything heavy, it is important to use the proper technique.
Start in a position that is safe, bend your knees, and squat directly over the object you are lifting. Then lift with your legs.
Avoid lifting hard-to-reach objects
Reaching for the top of a shelf to grab an object can be a bad idea. If you need something that you can barely reach, find a ladder or step stool that allows you to get a proper grip on the object. Stretching to grab something in a hard-to-reach location can cause you to lose your balance, fall and sustain an injury.
Avoid twisting motions
Turning your torso to lift something can create a scenario where you improperly bend to pick up the object. When your spinal column is not in proper alignment while you lift, it can result in improper compression or other severe consequences.
Use proper equipment
If you work in a job that requires regular heavy lifting, your employer should provide equipment that will help you do the job safely.
A hand truck, or dolly, can be an excellent tool for lifting heavy boxes. You can use the platform at the bottom of the tool to get under an object without the risk of serious lifting injuries. Back braces and other lifting equipment also can also reduce the risk of injury.
Do you have questions?
If you have questions about a work injury, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.