Unfortunately, thousands of people each year file for workers’ compensation due to “lifting, placing, holding and lowering materials which cause compensable work injuries,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The federal government does not regulate workplace lifting limits. Employers are left to decide the guidelines needed to protect workers from injuries, and sometimes these guidelines fail.
Herniated disks, torn muscles, strained ligaments or fractured vertebrae are common lifting injuries and can be debilitating; taking weeks to months of recovery. In worst cases, back injuries may require surgery or result in loss of movement and paralysis. To combat lifting injuries in the workplace, the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOSH) created a ‘lifting equation’ to help employers create reliable lifting guidelines for their workers.
Safe lifting should be based on:
- Distance of travel and duration of the lift
- Type of grasp used during the lift
- Twisting motions
- Measuring the placement of hands during the lift
- Number of lifts in a certain amount of time
Employers are legally responsible for the wellbeing of their employees from the time they clock in until clock out. You have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim if you have received an injury from lifting at work. This compensation, most of the time, covers medical, physical therapy, out-of-pocket expenses and 2/3 of lost wages; a payment for pain and suffer is not included in the compensation.
As soon as you can, you need to report your injury to your employer and fill out a “first report of injury form” to begin the process toward receiving workers’ compensation. If you are disabled during your lifting accident, you need to contact an attorney before signing any documents or settling your claim. Parvey & Cavenago stand with you, and will fight for your right to workers’ compensation to help you recover from your injuries with less stress and peace-of-mind.