Preventing Work Injuries: How to Lift Properly

worker lifting boxes from shelf

Back injuries are often long-lasting and extremely painful. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1 million workers sustain back injuries on the job—this accounts for about 20% of all work-related injuries and illnesses. Only the common cold accounts for more sick days than back pain.

While minor back injuries can be more annoying than anything else, more severe ones can have devastating effects on one’s quality and life and impact their ability to work. Proper lifting is essential to reducing the number of back injuries in the workplace, especially for workers whose jobs regularly involve lifting and moving.

Using the Proper Techniques

Remember, safety always comes before any task at hand. Before attempting to lift anything, you should always warm up by stretching your legs, hips, lower back, hamstring, and achilles heel. This will improve your performance by preparing your body for the work ahead. Additionally, here are a few things to remember before attempting a lift:

  • Plan Ahead. You should be aware of what you are lifting, how heavy it is, and whether you are able to lift it by yourself or need another person to assist you.
  • Check Your Pathway. Make sure the lift pathway is clear and remove any tripping hazards or debris in your way; do not lift on a wet floor.
  • Use Ergonomic Equipment. Use lift assists as needed, such as forklifts, dollys, carts, hand trucks, or hoists; make sure you are properly trained in using this equipment.
  • Get Help When Needed. When lifting heavy loads or ones that are awkwardly-sized, used two people; make sure you are both lifting at the same time and level.
  • Wear Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Wear proper protective shoes and gloves to avoid the load slipping out of your hands or your feet slipping on the ground.

Advocating for Injured Workers Across Louisville

If you sustained an immediate back injury or a repetitive stress injury due to your work duties, you should immediately contact a local workers’ compensation attorney to better understand your legal options. Continuing to work can jeopardize your safety and potential case if you have been injured. Justice Law Office is standing by ready to assist you in your time of need.

For dedicated legal representation following a work injury, contact our Louisville work injury attorneys at (502) 822-2230 or fill out our quick online contact form.