Avoiding Injury When Lifting Heavy Objects

Heavy lifting makes up over a third of work-related injuries and poses a serious risk to Missouri workers.

man hurting back while lifting boxes at work

Sustaining an injury during heavy lifting is something that has happened to many people, especially those that are middle-aged or older. This can occur while moving, in the gym, or in the workplace. The pain may even sneak up on you. You’re feeling fine for awhile, and then suddenly, you feel a sharp pain. If you have experienced a lifting injury at work, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced work injury lawyer. Whether or not you have an injury already, educating yourself on good lifting techniques is an excellent idea.

Why It Happens

Lifting injuries often happen for two primary reasons. The first is poor lifting practices. Many workers are not trained in safe lifting practices, or they ignore them. This leads to suffering avoidable injuries. The second is poor work conditions. No matter how safe you are, if you are lifting all day and getting fatigued, an injury is inevitable. Given that lifting makes up over a third of work injuries, this is definitely not a fringe issue.

Injuries It Causes

The most common injuries a worker will experience from lifting are related to their back, muscle, spine, wrist, or elbow. Those include sprains, pulls, and sometimes breaks.

Use Machinery

Whenever possible, use machinery over your body. The official OSHA policy is that if an object is over 50 pounds, you should get help with it. Examples of tools used are ramps, dollies, forklifts, and more. Remember, you should listen to your body at work. If something feels even a little bit too heavy, try to use a tool to help you.

Basic Lifting Practices

When you need to lift objects manually, there is a right way and a wrong way. The right way includes best practices like lifting with your legs instead of your back, having you back straight as you carry the object, and keeping the object at waist level. When you need to lift, be mindful of these tips and have the discipline to use them every time.

Be Wary of Frequency and Duration

Fatigue plays a huge role in injury. Even if your lifting practices are all correct, you could still be injured if you are exerting too much. As the day goes on, be extra careful and commit to best practices even more.

Talk to Your Employer

If you observe unsafe lifting practices at work, you should speak to your employer. You might be surprised to see them solve those issues promptly and protect their workers.

Suffering a lifting injury at work is frustrating on many levels. First, you have to deal with the injury itself, which can be as trivial as a pulled muscle or as severe as a sprained back. Second, you will feel like you could have easily avoided the situation by practicing better lifting habits. Follow these best practices and you will decrease your chance of injury significantly.

St. Louis Work Injury Attorney

If you have suffered a lifting injury on the job, get in touch with our experienced legal team 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: March 11, 2022