Lifting bulky and heavy objects is a daily occurrence in many occupations.
For those in industries such as warehousing, manufacturing, and other
fields, the toll of consistently lifting objects can cause serious health
issues. Employers are encouraged 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.
Items that can aid in lifting heavy objects include:
- Lift gates
- Pallet jackets
- Hand trucks
- Suction devices
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.
Injuries resulting from strenuous lifting can include:
- Back injury
- Fractured lower extremity
- Fractured spinal cord
- Herniated cervical disc
- Knee injury
- Lumbar vertebral disk herniation
- Neck injury
- Pinched nerves and/or nerve damage
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.