Production line workers, cooks and delivery drivers are familiar with work that requires heavy lifting rain or shine. However, as the weather warms, even more jobs will open that require physical labor.
If you’ll be lifting large or heavy objects regularly at work, keep these tips in mind to prevent injury.
1. Know where to go
Before you attempt a heavy lift, always think ahead about the route you will take while moving it and where you will put it. This will keep you from a number of risks, such as supporting the lift for longer than expected, tripping on obstacles, running into closed doors, etc.
2. Lift with your legs
If you are lifting an object up, you should bend your hips and knees to be able to stand up to lift. There is more power in your legs than your back and you’re less likely to pull a muscle this way.
Think of a proper lift like a squat, in which you move up with the object, rather than pulling the object up to you.
3. Wear the right shoes
If the object you are lifting is heavy enough, wearing the wrong footwear could result in a serious accident if you slip and fall while making the lift. In a kitchen, you should be wearing rubber shoes that can grip to the slippery smooth surface.
If you are working outdoors or on a production line, you may need steel-toed boots to prevent injury if you drop the heavy object. Talk with your employer to learn more about which type of shoe is best for the particular type of work you will be doing.
4. Get a good grip
One way to keep the object you are lifting from slipping out of your hands is to keep the load close to your body. This will lend more support than only your hands would.
Just make sure it is safe to carry the load close. For example, the practice may not work for transporting hot liquids.
5. Don’t take on too much
Listen to your intuition. If something seems too heavy to lift, it’s worth your time to grab a helping hand. Getting an injury from lifting something that is too heavy could limit all of your movement for an extended period of time.
If this happens by accident at work, always make sure to take the steps to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. This can help you cover medical costs and keep you from missing out on wages during your recovery. A workers’ compensation attorney can help guide you through the process to make sure you don’t miss any required deadlines or details that could affect your eligibility.