Heavy Lifting Accidents at Work
You have probably seen sitcom episodes in which someone plans an ambitious home improvement project and boasts about his DIY skills only to throw out his back lifting a heavy item early in the project and spend the rest of the episode lying in bed helplessly. While these kinds of injuries can be played for laughs on TV, the pain is very real and can sometimes recur without warning even after the injury heals. Workplaces should ensure that, when workers must lift heavy boxes or other heavy items in the course of their jobs, they do so in such a way that minimizes the risk of injury. The good news is that, even if your employer did everything right but your assignment to carry heavy items at work still resulted in an injury, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation. If your employer is refusing to pay for treatment for the injury you sustained as a result of heavy lifting at work, contact a South Florida workers’ compensation lawyer.
How Lifting Injuries Happen in the Workplace
Maybe you are strong. Maybe you can bench press an impressive amount of weight. You might still be at risk for a lifting injury at work. There are other factors to consider besides just how much the object weighs. These are some common hazards that lead to workplace injuries involving lifting heavy loads, and how to prevent them.
- A history of back injuries – If you have previously thrown out your back in a lifting accident, it is easy to aggravate the injury, even if you are lifting a lesser amount of weight. Know your risk factors or have your doctor assess them.
- Carrying instead of just lifting – There is a big difference between how heavy an item you can safely lift up and load onto a cart or other piece equipment and how much weight you carry all the way across the warehouse or down the hall. Don’t carry a heavy item for a long distance on foot unless there is no other option.
- Not using the buddy system – Your employer should not make you carry a heavy load by yourself when a group of co-workers can help you. Two people at a time can carry the load for a short distance, and then another two can carry it next.
- Trip and fall injuries – It is hard to see around an unwieldy box when you are carrying it, increasing the risk that you might not see an uneven area of the floor and trip over it. Even if you are the only person at your job site strong enough to carry the load, a co-worker should walk ahead of you to warn you of any uneven surfaces.
Remember, no matter the circumstances, if the injury occurred at work, the treatment should be covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Contact Us Today for Professional Help
If your employer insists that your back pain is the result of an old injury and not because of a lifting assignment at work, you need a Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld for more information.