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Lifting injuries at Work

Injuries caused by lifting heavy objects are some of the most common workplace injuries seen in Massachusetts. In fact, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers heavy lifting to be one of the leading causes of workplace injuries reported in the nation.

What Causes Heavy Lifting Accidents in the Workplace?

A variety of factors can contribute to a worker being injured while lifting heavy objects, but most relate to lifting an object that is too heavy, or while using unsafe lifting techniques. The following are some common reasons for heavy lifting accidents at work:

Weight of Objects:

OSHA notes that some loads are simply too heavy and can result in excess stress being placed on the muscles, spinal discs, and vertebrae of the employee. OSHA data shows objects weighing more than 50 pounds have a significant risk for injury when lifted by a single employee without the use of a forklift or help from other employees.

Awkward Postures:

If an employee is bending over when attempting to a lift a heavy object, his or her back will be forced to support the entire weight. Bending can increase strain on the human back even when lifting light objects. Bending also moves the weight of the object away from the core of the body, causing leverage on the spine, which can result in injury. Reaching while lifting can also cause serious injury, as can carrying a heavy object on a shoulder. It is recommended that workers use their lower body strength and legs to lift by keeping the object close to his or her chest and between the mid thighs and mid-chest. This is known as a worker’s “power zone.”

Repetitive and Long Duration Lifting:

Holding an object above chest height for an extended period of time can result in damage to muscle tissue and the buildup of lactic acid. This can cause a serious workplace lifting injury, as can lifting heavy objects on a frequent basis.

At the Law Offices of Jeffery S. Glassman, LLC, our legal team understands that many employees are reluctant to report injuries to their employer out of fear of losing their job. We also know that they may prefer to deal with the pain rather than miss work. However, a back injury can prevent you from ever working again. It is important to get prompt medical attention and make sure you report the injury to your employer.

Proof that an injury happened on the job is often the most heavily litigated area of workers’ compensation cases. The longer you wait to report the injury and see a doctor, the harder it will prove your case. Also, in the event that your employer actually does retaliate against you, your experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to assist you with this, as well. We understand that your family is likely dependent on your income, but they will also be dependent on your income in the future. You want to make sure that you are properly compensated for any medical bills and lost work, and, if you are unable to work in the future, you want to make sure that you are properly compensated for that as well.

Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation. 

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