Our bodies are very much like the machines we depend on every day and when we use them to lift heavy object we should be aware of proper body mechanics to avoid injury and to live a longer happier life.
Bending, reaching and twisting when you are lifting an object can lead to severe back strain. Lifting heavy objects or repeating the same lifting motion over and over again can also increase the risk of back injury, which can be extremely painful and debilitating and lead to many days of missed work.
Though lifting is a common task in the workplace, many employers fail to take measures to reduce the risk of their employees being injured while lifting and moving objects about the workplace. Employers can, for example, provide their employees with mechanical assistance to move heavy objects or to raise the object up to minimize the need to bend over. Shelves, tables, and stands can also be allowed to rotate in order to minimize the need to reach for objects.
There also a number of measures that employees themselves can employ to avoid being injured while lifting at work, here are 10 of the most fundamental:
- Do not attempt to lift an object if you are unable to get a good grip, even if the object is not heavy. This goes for objects that are bulky, awkward to handle, or simply just too big to handle securely.
- Don’t attempt to handle an object by yourself if it is heavier than 40 pounds. Get help from a coworker or use some kind of mechanical assistance.
- Use a ladder to raise yourself and reach for things that are stored overhead.
- Always use both hands to lift an object.
- Stand as close as possible to the object you want to lift with your legs wide apart. Keep your feet flat on the floor and make sure that the flooring is firm and dry.
- Keep your body as close as possible to the object you are lifting and hold your elbows in tight to your side.
- Make sure that you can see over the top of the object you are lifting. Firstly, because you need to see where you are going and secondly, because unseen objects can slide off of the top and hit your head, face or eyes.
- When lifting an object that sits lower than your waist, keep your back straight and bend your knees and hips. Avoid bending forward at the waist with your knees straight. This will put all of the strain on your back alone and can cause serious injury.
- When lifting, straighten your knees in a smooth steady motion. Don’t jerk the load up.
- Never twist your body while carrying a load––turn your feet. Do not tweet at the waist. Twisting moves your spine out of alignment and makes you vulnerable to injury.
Contact An Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured at work in New Jersey, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and any resulting disability you suffer. For more information about New Jersey workers’ compensation laws and/or for help with filing a claim, contact an experienced New jersey workers’ compensation attorney today.