Are you required to lift heavy objects at work or move bulky materials around the workplace?
Most jobs involve some lifting and moving of objects. However, there are many professions and industries rely on physical labor by employees to accomplish daily tasks. In most instances, employees assigned or undertaking these tasks are capable of lifting and moving the object in question.
Nurses, factory workers, movers, veterinarians, and construction workers all bend, lift, and manually move objects or patients throughout their day. Employers often provide training on lifting and manual movement of objects or patients, yet injuries still occur.
Common Injuries from Lifting at Work
Workers’ compensation lawyers in New Jersey have noted that the specific injuries from lifting heavy or unwieldy objects include:
- lower back pain
- herniated disc
- nerve damage
- pulled back muscle
- shoulder strain
- spinal cord injury and
These injuries may cause pain or discomfort for an extended period of time. Strains and sprains in the back or neck may prevent an employee for working for days or weeks, and often these injuries increase the likelihood of similar injuries in the future. To fully recover from lifting injuries, employees may require significant medical attention and rehabilitation.
Duties and Tasks that Cause Lifting Injuries
Under workers’ compensation law in New Jersey, lifting injuries are also referred to as manual handling (claims for manual handling also involve pushing and pulling injuries). These injuries from lifting, carrying, holding, and moving objects or patients account for one third of all workers’ compensation claims. There are certain motions or actions that account for many of these claims, such as:
- transfer of patients from gurney to hospital bed
- helping overweight or heavy patients walk or move
- moving office furniture
- unloading a shipment or delivery
- preparing load for a forklift
- moving stacks of files or folders
- stocking inventory, and
- carrying trash bags or garbage cans.
Injuries from each of these actions are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Employers are required to cover the cost of immediate medical expenses related to lifting injuries and cost of recovery, this includes physical therapy or rehabilitation, if needed.
Preventing Lifting Injuries at Work
Given the frequency and severity of lifting injuries, it is important to prevent as many lifting injuries as possible. Employers should provide training and advice on how to manually lift and move large or bulky items at work. For medical professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists, and veterinarians it is common for education and practical training to include specific advice on how to move patients or animals.
However, many employees are left without advice or training on how to lift and carry bulky objects at the workplace. Employees should test the weight of a box or object before lifting and ensure the path is clear for carrying and moving the object.. There are best practices for lifting that a medical professional or health and safety administrator can provide to further avoid injury.
Legal Assistance for Lifting Injury
Injuries related to lifting and manual handling are among the most common claims handled by the Law Office of Albert J. Talone. Our legal team’s experience with these injuries, negotiations with insurance companies, and the procedures for filing a workers’ compensation claim could ensure you receive maximum workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey. Call our office at (856)-234-4023 to speak with a qualified attorney.