Lifting Heavy Objects at Work and Scared of Injury? Know What to Do
You’ve probably heard the saying, “lift with your legs, not your back.” But no matter if you’re following proper lifting guidelines, injuries can happen. If heavy lifting a part of your daily work routine, such as unpacking a moving truck, lifting an overweight patient on a gurney, or stocking inventory, an injury can knock you out of commission and can rack up a giant medical debt.
In the workplace, back injuries are by far the most common. One may obtain one or more of the differing back injuries, including:
- traumatic (sudden or abrupt stress),
- impact (struck in the back),
- stress or strain (pulled muscles/ligaments, tendonitis),
- repetitive movement
- a herniated/pinched disc
- a broken/fractured vertebra
- and a pinched nerve/nerve damage
Other common heavy lifting injuries can occur in the shoulders, neck, knees, elbows, wrists, hands, and feet.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has safety regulations and tips on how to properly lift objects of weight without putting your health in jeopardy. Ensuring that you have a proper and neutral posture, keeping your work area clean and clear of unnecessary obstacles, planning the routes and keeping the amount of lifting to a minimum can help. Also, using your lifting power zone along with proper handholds and rotating the physical lifting work (if possible) will help to prevent injury.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when lifting heavy items at work:
- Make sure you are properly trained on how to lift bulking/heavy items (lifting with the legs and not the back muscles)
- Test the weight of a box/object before attempting to pick it up
- Ensure the path of carrying out the task is clear
Injuries Happen, What Can You Do?
Even if you’re following the regulations, you may still incur one or more of the injuries mentioned above. This can be due to your employer expecting too much from you, or maybe you were poorly instructed on ways to ensure your safety. Either way, these things can happen and if you are injured at work, you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, even if you are the cause of the accident.
To file for workers’ compensation in the state of New Jersey and obtain the benefits you should follow this sequence:
- See a doctor your employer recommends for you and receive medical treatment
- Tell your doctor about the injury and follow their instructions
- Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible (You have 90 days from the day of injury) and make sure it is in writing
- Check on your claim to ensure that it was filed (your employer has 21 days to file it)
- If your employer fails to submit a claim or your claim is denied, get legal help as soon as possible
Your New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer Anthony Carbone is here to help you during this time. If you or a loved one has been injured at work from lifting heavy objects, or from any work-related injury, give our law offices in Jersey City a call.