Working in a warehouse, you may spend a significant amount of your day doing a lot of lifting. Whether from repetitively lifting or from overexertion, you could easily suffer painful and debilitating injuries.
Between you and your employer, there may be ways to reduce the likelihood of you suffering an injury from lifting. Below are some of the ways that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends to do just that.
Your work environment makes a difference
If your work environment is too hot, you could dehydrate, increase your metabolic load or easily become fatigued. When it's too cold, your muscle flexibility suffers, and you could easily pull something. Inadequate lighting or visibility while you work could cause you to trip or slip and fall while lifting something.
The weight of the object makes a difference
Lifting objects that weigh 50 pounds or more could invite injuries. In an attempt to avoid injuries, your employer should provide you with one or more of the following ways to lift heavy objects, depending on the task:
- Pallet jacks
- Hand trucks
- Duct lifts
- Suction devices
- Mechanical lifts
Of course, it's important for you to use the right equipment for the right task. In addition, you could ask for help in moving a heavy object. Splitting the load and keeping it between mid-chest and mid-thigh may help avoid injury.
Your posture makes a difference
If you twist your body, reach as you lift an object or bend over to pick up an object, you could injure your back. Moreover, if you tend to carry objects under your arm, over your shoulder or in just one hand, you shift your center of gravity, which could put undue strain on your body. Keep objects at eye level, use your knees to bend down and use both hands in order to take some of the stress off your spine.
Seeking support makes a difference
No matter how many precautions you take in order to avoid an injury from lifting, you may still experience one. If so, you could require significant medical care and time away from work. You may apply for benefits from California's workers' compensation system for a work-related injury. Obtaining those benefits often causes a certain degree of frustration, which you don't need while you work on recovering from your injury. Instead, you could make use of legal resources to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.