For someone in the shipping industry or construction work, you often have to lift heavier items. This is just part of the job but it can also lead to back injuries as well as other types of traumatic injuries if not done properly. Many people who suffer from these types of injuries have to miss work, which means a loss of productivity for the employer. These injuries can also mean costly medical bills.
Workers’ compensation cases are a common thing in these industries, which is fortunate for you as a worker. The employer is obviously responsible for making sure you’re safe at work but it is also your responsibility to make sure that you’re doing your job correctly. Proper lifting techniques can save you from a traumatic back injury. Let’s look at those techniques and how they can help you avoid a workers’ compensation case.
Know your limits and the proper lifting techniques.
Everyone has their own limits as to how much they can lift and carry. The amount you can safely carry is going to be different than that of someone else. Don’t try to push that limit even if it means you need to make an extra trip to and from your destination. If you feel like you may not be able to lift something on your own, it is a good idea to look at other options to get the item where it needs to go.
When you do need to lift something, make sure you’re using proper lifting techniques. Use your knees to lift instead of your back. Get as close to the object as you can when you’re lifting it. Getting a strong grip on the item and having it secured can improve your safety.
Get help from a co-worker as needed for heavier loads.
Lifting something as a team with someone else is very useful for your safety. If something is too bulky or heavy for you to lift and carry safely on your own, make sure you get some help from a co-worker to get the object to its destination. It is always better to play it safe than sorry and get help so you can avoid getting an injury that will take you out of work for any length of time.
Use lifting devices when you can for bulkier items.
If you have access to a forklift at your place of employment, make sure to use it whenever possible. This is especially recommended when there is no one else available to help you lift an item. You could even use a hand truck, crane, or a pushcart to move the heavy object. However, some of these items require that you have special training to use them. As long as you have that training, using them safely is critical to your own safety.
What are the risks I might face?
Some of the risks you face when lifting come from the improper body mechanics you’re using. When you’re lifting try not to reach too far or twist when you’re lifting the objects. Another risk you face when you’re lifting things is not taking breaks often enough. When you get cumulative trauma injuries from lifting, it comes from lifting in the same improper manner repeatedly.
Greenville, NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Greenville, NC. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work, please call me at (252) 777-2222 or 800-387-6406 for free, friendly advice.
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