Heavy Lifting Injuries
It may be surprising to learn that lifting heavy objects is one of the main causes of job-related injuries, and it is essential for workers to keep this in mind if this is part of their work responsibilities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that about 36 percent of workplace injuries are caused by heavy lifting. Excessive lifting and bending can cause sudden injuries or lead to chronic conditions that develop over time. In addition to causing serious shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, leg, and back problems, these incidents can lead to extensive medical bills and missed workdays. Certain jobs require lifting and moving heavy objects; it is the nature of the work. Everyone that is faced with handling heavy objects should be trained lifting correctly and using the proper equipment.
Maintaining the correct posture and avoiding awkward movements when lifting prevents injuries. Most people recognize the importance of bending at the knees rather than at the waist when lifting something heavy, but this is only part of the story. According to OSHA, it is important to avoid bending one’s body when lifting something heavy above ground level. Heavy items should be lifted between a person’s mid-thigh and mid-chest, and the items should be moved as close as possible to one’s body. The elbows should be kept close to the body, and it is important to never twist the body when lifting. For those that lift heavy things often, it is helpful to share the work with other employees and to take consistent breaks.
Some employees that need to lift and move heavy loads overestimate their abilities or do not want to seek help. This can be dangerous, as employees that need to move excessively heavy objects face even more risk of injury. For these cases, specific equipment can help carry the loads. Hand trucks and pallet jacks are especially useful in these situations. Warehouses and other job sites employ the use of duct lifts, forklifts, lift gates, and ramps to transport items from one area to another, and suction devices may also be used as temporary handles.
Heavy Lifting Injuries
Some of the most common injuries from heavy lifting are musculoskeletal disorders that affect a worker’s back and legs. Many end up seeking treatment for chronic back pain, herniated or bulging discs, lower back strain, rotator cuff injuries, severe muscle sprains, and degenerative disc disease. In more serious cases, employees can end up with spinal cord damage, which can lead to long-term mobility issues and even paralysis. There are also the risks of dropping a heavy object and slip and falls from carrying something that is too heavy to handle.
Time is of the Essence
Some employees shy away from claiming a heavy lifting injury because they worry about losing their jobs. This can be detrimental to the employee, since these injuries can worsen over time if not treated. Getting medical attention and alerting the employer as soon as possible is essential. Waiting too long to report an injury can also make it more difficult to prove a Workers’ Compensation case.
Proving that the injury was work-related may be challenging, and this is where an experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyer can be of help. Injured employees will need to be compensated for their medical bills and time that they are unable to work, especially if the expenses are substantial and long-term.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Injured Workers Receive the Compensation They Deserve
If you experienced a work-related injury due to heavy lifting, the Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can help you get the benefits that you are entitled. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call us at 302-888-1221. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, Newark, and Middletown.