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Avoiding Lifting Injuries at Work

Many occupations require workers to move heavy objects. Tasks associated with industries such as warehousing, manufacturing, and other fields place a toll on a worker’s body. Employers are required to properly train employees in safe practices that can be used to reduce the strain on areas such as the lower back and to provide the proper equipment to use when lifting. The amount of weight that a worker can safely lift will vary according to his or her own weight and abilities, but it is generally recommended that workers refrain from bodily lifting more than 50 pounds. Employers are also required to make sure workers have equipment required to lift heavy objects.

Items that can aid in lifting heavy objects include:

  • Ramps
  • Lift gates
  • Forklifts
  • Pallet jackets
  • Hand trucks
  • And more

What Lift Injuries Can Occur at Work?

When an object must be lifted manually, there are certain steps that can decrease the strain on the body. Employers must train employees in proper lifting techniques, such as keeping the spine straight and lifting from the knees rather than the back. Additionally, employers must ensure that multiple workers are available to safely lift an object if it weighs too much for one person to safely move.

Injuries resulting from strenuous lifting can include:

  • Back injuries
  • Fractures
  • Herniated cervical discs
  • Knee injuries
  • Soft tissue tears
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Wrist injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Hernias
  • Neck injuries
  • Pinched or damaged nerves

Does OSHA Have Rules for Lifting Heavy Objects?

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have legal limits in place regarding how much weight an employee can be asked to move, employers must take steps to ensure that workers suffer the minimum possible strain. For example, an employer who demands that workers perform tasks that are known to be unsafe—such as lifting objects that are too heavy without providing the proper lifting equipment—could be held liable for resulting injuries.

If you have suffered short- or long-term injuries due to unsafe lifting practices at your workplace, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys of Arnold & Itkin have helped workers in a wide range of fields assess the damages that have been inflicted on them through negligent work standards and hold their employers responsible.

Contact us today for a free consultation at (888) 493-1629.


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