Are your workers constantly being asked to lift heavy items? Do you constantly have a higher-than-average number of workers missing days of work due to injury? If this is the case, or if you simply want to ensure your workers’ safety through the use of heavy lifting equipment, follow along to learn more about how workplace injuries can be avoided.
Recognizing the Issue
Heavy lifting accounts for one of the largest causes of injury in the workplace. In fact, in 2001, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 36% of workplace injuries that involved missing work days were due to shoulder and back injuries. Some other common injuries include back sprains, muscle pulls, wrist injuries, elbow injuries, and spinal injuries. Recovery times for all require rest, meaning your workers will not be able to do their jobs.
Read along for a more in-depth analysis of heavy lifting injuries and potential solutions.
1. Muscle Injuries
Lifting objects that are too heavy can result in injury to muscles and connective tissue. These injuries come in the form of small tears in muscle fibers and tendons.
Usually, when lifting weights slightly heavier than you’re used to, these small tears can heal on their own, and in the process, will strengthen your muscles. However, if your workers are lifting objects far too heavy, these tears will be larger and will take longer to heal. In order to avoid these kinds of injuries, it is recommended to use forklifts, duct lifts, or other heavy lifting equipment to lift these heavy objects.
2. Spinal Injuries
Although your arms and legs take most of the weight while lifting, your spine can endure a lot of pressure as well. When lifting something too heavy, the muscles in your back will be strained beyond what they can handle, leading to muscle sprains or tears, as mentioned earlier.
If the damage is severe, your workers could end up with herniated disks or pinched nerves. Failure to heal these types of injuries properly can lead to even more back pain in the future. These types of injuries can also be avoided through the use of heavy lifting equipment, like forklifts, pallet jacks, and hand trucks.
3. Wrist Injuries
Awkward hand positioning when lifting something heavy may lead to a sprained wrist, or in some cases, a broken wrist. These injuries, even when small, take some time to heal. Employing ramps or using pallet jacks may reduce the number of times your workers’ wrists are at risk.
4. Shoulder Injuries
These types of injuries occur when a worker transports most of the load on one arm or shoulder. This can strain the joint carrying most of the weight: the shoulder. Although it may not seem like it, this is one of the most common injuries in the workplace. This can be avoided by using vertical lifts to move objects to higher locations or pallet jacks and trucks to transport objects longer distances.
Why Heavy Lifting Equipment is Necessary
Avoiding injury in the workplace can not only save your workers medical expenses and prevent them from getting injured, it can also make your company work more efficiently. Using the right material handling equipment, like lifts, will speed up the sorting and lifting process.
If you’re interested in learning more about heavy lifting equipment, do not hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to provide you with solutions for worker injuries and, in the process, improve your company’s productivity.