5 Tips to Avoid Back Injuries In the Workplace

How to Properly Lift Heavy Objects at Work

Whether you work as a package delivery driver, on an assembly line, or even in an office environment, lifting is a common duty in many workplaces. Unfortunately, any kind of heavy lifting at work can put you at risk for suffering a serious back injury if not done correctly. In this blog, our work injury lawyers offer tips on how to safely lift heavy objects in the workplace.

If you have suffered a back injury or any other type of injury in the workplace, our Chicago workers’ comp attorneys at McHargue & Jones can help you pursue the compensation you’re owed. Call (312) 487-2461 today to speak with our team in a free consultation!

Safe Lifting Techniques in the Workplace

infographic of how to properly lift heavy objectsThese five tips demonstrate how to prevent back injury when lifting:

  1. Plan Your Route - Before you grab that box, make sure that you know exactly where you’re taking it and that your walkway is clear. By doing this you can ensure that you’re not left holding a heavy object for too long and that you are tripping or stumbling over cables, pallets, or other debris.

  2. Warm Up - While lifting a box at work may not be the same as competing in an Olympic sport, it’s still important to stretch and make sure that your blood is pumping before attempting to lift and carry an object. Stiff muscles or poor blood flow can result in tears, sprains, or even serious falls.

  3. Lift Correctly - The actual process of lifting correctly includes the following:

    • Stand as close as possible to the object you will be lifting, this will prevent you from over-exerting your back

    • Bend at the knees to squat down next to the object, but be sure to keep your back upright

    • Let your legs do the lifting, never lift with your back

  4. Carry Correctly - When carrying a heavy object, be sure to look straight ahead and keep your back straight and shoulders back. If you need to change directions at any point, lead with your feet and your hips. You should also carry the object as close to your body as possible.

  5. Put Down Correctly - As soon as you reach your destination, lower the object by reversing the same motions you used to pick up the object.

If you want to read more about procedures for safely lifting weight in the workplace, you can check out these regulations published by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

The Dangers of Lifting Heavy Objects

While it may sound simple, injuries from lifting heavy objects can occur very easily if you aren’t using the proper technique and paying attention to your surroundings. Some things to avoid while lifting or carrying heavy objects in the workplace include:

  • Twisting or turning

  • Continuing to lift or carry heavy objects when you are fatigued

  • Carrying heavy objects when you don’t have a clear view of your path

  • Carrying objects that are too heavy or bulky to carry alone or without the proper tool

  • Lifting anything above shoulder level

  • Bending at the waist to lift something, rather than squatting

  • Hurrying to lift and carry something

  • Lifting anything that you aren’t able to get a firm grip on

  • Holding your breath while lifting

If you want to learn more about injury prevention when lifting heavy objects in the workplace, you can read this article by National Safety Compliance.

Injured While Lifting a Heavy Object at Work? Call McHargue & Jones!

Preventing back injuries in the workplace by lifting properly is a fairly simple process. However, just because you’re exercising proper care and technique doesn’t mean that injuries can’t occur. Sometimes injuries can be caused by another co-worker's negligence or the negligence of the company that you work for. If you have suffered an injury on the job from lifting, or from any other type of work accident, reach out to the team at McHargue & Jones today. We offer over 20 years of proven success and are here to fight for your fair compensation.

Call (312) 487-2461 today to speak with our team, or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation today.