Proper Lifting TechniquesJune 6, 2018
Back injuries are one of the most common types of workplace injuries. From minor strains to more serious muscle tears or disc problems, back injuries can cause employees to miss days, weeks, even months or more of work. In addition, if not properly treated, these injuries can cause chronic pain and discomfort, which can have a negative impact on the individual’s quality of life.
From construction sites to office settings, there are a wide range of objects that employees are responsible for lifting. Some are heavier than others and may require more than one person to lift. Other objects may require the use of a dolly or a forklift.
Fortunately, most work-related back injuries can be avoided by using the appropriate lifting techniques.
Safety Techniques and Tips
To avoid back injuries at work, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Assess the object before lifting. Just because an object is small does not mean that it is not heavy. Test the weight of the object by gently pushing on it, to see how easily it moves. If the item is packaged with other objects, make sure that the items are organized well and that there are no unbalanced items that could fall or come loose. If the object can be safely lifted, make sure you have a clear path that is free of debris, or other potential tripping hazards.
- Get in the right position. When lifting a heavy object, be sure to bring it as close to your body as possible. Always lift with your legs, not with your back. Remember to keep your head up, your back straight, and bend at the hips, not from the waist. Avoid reaching out for a heavy object, as this can cause muscle strains. If you need to lift something that is overhead, use a ladder to avoid injuring your back.
- Move carefully. When moving a heavy object, walk slowly and make sure that your path remains clear and safe. Avoid quick, jerky, or twisting movements, as they can cause muscle strains and tears. When turning, shift your whole body, rather than twisting your chest from side to side.
- Take care of your body. Before doing any heavy lifting, it is a good idea to stretch your arms, legs, and back, to warm up your muscles. By stretching and exercising on a daily basis, you are less likely to become injured from lifting something at work. Remember to take breaks when your muscles feel fatigued or sore.
- Set the load down carefully. Rather than dropping the object, use your core and leg muscles to gently set it down. Make sure that your fingers and toes are clear, before placing the object down.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers with Back Injuries
If you suffered a back injury at work, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will guide you through every step of the claims process and ensure that you receive the maximum financial benefits that you deserve. To set up a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.