Ouch! Heavy Lifting Causes Many Workplace InjuriesBy Kenton Koszdin Law Office on April 24, 2019 | In Uncategorized
What medical condition accounts for more lost work days than the common cold? Back injuries. One million workers hurt their backs each year, representing almost 20% of all workplace injuries and illnesses. And most of these injuries are caused by heavy lifting.
Lifting a heavy object, especially one weighing 50 pounds or more, puts a strain on your muscles as well as the vertebrae and discs in the back. Many untrained workers hurt themselves by using an awkward posture when bending down and reaching for an object, or when carrying something heavy.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that lift-related injuries are a primary cause of Workers’ Compensation (WC) claims. You may be eligible for WC if you have injured yourself while lifting an object at work.
Common Injuries from Heavy Lifting
Your back is not the only body part that can be injured by heavy lifting. In addition to back sprains and damage to the spinal column, lifting and carrying heavy objects using the wrong techniques can cause:
- Shoulder injuries
- Elbow injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Pulled muscles
Use Smart Lifting Practices
You can reduce the risk of an on-the-job injury from heavy lifting with these suggestions:
- Use mechanical and other devices to move the object. Possible solutions are suction devices, ramps and machinery.
- Lift the object as close to the body as possible, with elbows close by your side. Avoid reaching while lifting. This increases the load and strains the shoulders.
- Try to keep your spine alignment neutral and straight. Bending at the knees instead of at the waist can help.
- Avoid awkward reaching, bending and twisting.
- Take advantage of your “power zone” method. Your “power zone” is the area that is close to the body, mid-thigh to mid-chest height. Here your back and arms can lift the most with the least amount of effort.
Make Workplace Changes to Help Lift Heavy Objects
- Use gloves for added grip.
- Try to break down a heavy load into lighter, more manageable parts.
- Avoid long-duration or repeated lifting. Use lifting devices, get help from a team member and rest and stretch fatigued muscles often.
- Make sure the heavy object has adequate handholds. If not, look for a suction device to help with lifting. Alternately, move the load into a different container that has better handholds.
You can learn more about safe lifting techniques at this Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) website.
Let Us Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you or a loved one has been denied Worker’s Compensation or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it’s important to get an attorney experienced in these types of cases involved immediately. Call 800.438.7734 for your initial free consultation, either in our office or in the comfort of your own home. The Kenton Koszdin Law Office, Social Security attorney in Van Nuys, can help you navigate the application process for the best possible outcome for you and your family.