Lifting heavy objects is part of the job for many construction workers, warehouse workers, and others in physically demanding roles. However, improper lifting techniques can lead to serious and costly lifting injuries. Our personal injury law firm has seen far too many of these preventable injuries happen to hardworking Texans. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the common causes of lifting injuries and steps you can take to lift safely.
Causes of Lifting Injuries:
– Lifting objects that are too heavy – Our bodies can only handle so much weight safely. Attempting to lift extremely heavy items puts too much strain on muscles, tendons, and discs. This can lead to ripped muscles, herniated discs, and other injuries. Know your limits.
– Twisting while lifting – Twisting while lifting shifts the weight to one side of your body, again putting dangerous levels of strain on your back. Always face the object straight on.
– Reaching too far – Reaching to pick up or set down an object forces you off balance. This makes it much harder to lift with your legs properly. Instead, move your feet to eliminate excessive reaching.
– Bending at the waist – Bending forward at the waist to lift puts pressure on your lower back. Lift with your legs by bending at the hips and knees instead.
– Carrying for long distances – Carrying heavy loads for long distances can fatigue muscles and lead to injury. Take breaks if you must carry something heavy more than a short distance.
Proper Lifting Techniques:
– Test the weight – Before lifting, test the object’s weight by pushing it slightly with your hands or feet to judge how heavy it is. Don’t attempt to lift something beyond your capability.
– Use your legs – Let your strong leg muscles do the work of lifting, not your back. Keep your back straight, bend at the knees and hips, grip tightly, and drive up with your legs.
– Get help – If an object is too heavy or bulky for one person to safely lift, ask a coworker for assistance. Use teamwork to divide the weight.
– Use mechanical aids – Dollies, lift assist devices, pallet jacks, and forklifts can all help safely move material without excessive manual lifting.
– Avoid twisting/reaching – As described above, face the object straight on and move your feet instead of twisting or reaching with your back.
Lifting injuries can be extremely painful and lead to extended time off work. However, following safe lifting practices can help Texas construction workers, warehouse workers, movers, and others stay injury-free on the jobsite. Contact our law firm today if you have suffered an injury due to negligent lifting requirements or unsafe working conditions. Armstrong Law, PLLC is here to help recover the compensation you deserve.
More information on lifting injuries and lifting techniques can be found at: https://www.osha.com/blog/proper-lifting-techniques.