Jobs that require heavy lifting are hard on the back, especially for employees who have not been trained to lift properly. Proper lifting techniques can minimize back strain and on the job injuries. Follow these six easy steps to lift a heavy object.
1. Test the Weight of the Item
Judge the weight of the item to be picked up by nudging it with one foot or picking up the corner of the item. Determine if you can pick it up and carry it yourself, or if you will need a dolly or other lifting assistance.
2. Figure Out the Route You Will Take
Know ahead of time what route you will take and make sure there will be nothing in your way. Do this even for short distances.
3. Stand Close to the Object to be Lifted
Stand close to the object you are going to lift, with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and keep your back and neck straight. Continue looking ahead while you grasp the object.
4. Bend at the Knees and Push Up With Your Heels
Don’t lift the object using your back. Instead, keep looking straight ahead and push up with your heels and your leg muscles. Your back should not be bearing any of the weight at all during lifting.
5. Move the Item
Take deep breaths and go slowly as you move the item to its designated location. If you have to turn while you are carrying the object, make sure to move your feet instead of twisting your spine.
6. Set the Item Down
When you set the item down, you will simply reverse how you picked it up. Don’t bend your back – instead, bend your knees while keeping your back straight and looking straight ahead.
Although learning to lift properly can take some time to get used to, it will soon become second nature for employees who do regular lifting on the job.
What to Do When Injuries Happen Anyway
Even the most cautious of lifters can experience work injuries. It’s highly likely that your job will cause back strain over time or acute back injuries if you lift heavy objects throughout your shift.
When you experience an on the job injury, the first thing you need to do is get medical assistance. Whether you suspect your injury has accumulated over time or you are in significant pain after a sudden injury, it’s crucial that you are evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Your next step should be to contact an experienced Orange County workers compensation attorney. An attorney can help you fill out an accident report and workers compensation paperwork correctly, and can give you the legal support you need if your California workers compensation claim is denied.
Michael Holmes is a seasoned workers compensation litigator, and can help you obtain compensation for back injuries that occurred as a result of regular heavy lifting at work. Contact him today for a consultation at (714) 667-6844. He is available now to speak with you regarding your case.