According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manual handling causes a significant percentage of workplace injuries nationwide, including Ohio. Incorrect lifting techniques cause a large number of these injuries. Employers are responsible for their workers’ safety, but not all employers prioritize employee well-being.
Typical manual material handling injuries
They are caused by known hazards that employers should address as a part of their responsibilities to keep workers safe. The following are common causes of lost workdays:
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Struck-by injuries
- Pinch point injuries
- Slip-and-fall injuries
Most manual handling injuries are preventable by providing adequate safety training and eliminating workers’ need to lift heavy and awkwardly shaped items. Proper planning and engineering controls are the most effective ways to mitigate manual handling injuries.
Lifting injuries are preventable
Employers can also teach workers proper lifting techniques for protection when lifting cannot be eliminated. Furthermore, employers or supervisors can set each worker’s weight limits, and two or more workers must be used lift heavier objects. In some workplaces, the limit for single person lifting objects is 50 pounds, and for teams, the maximum weight is 100 pounds.
Workers can refuse dangerous tasks
In Ohio, workers might not realize that they can refuse to do work that poses injury risks, which includes lifting, carrying, pulling and pushing heavy objects. Any worker who suffers a work-related injury is likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. For benefits claims to be valid, injured workers must report the injury in a timely manner, with the first concern being appropriate medical care for the accident victim.
The employer typically provides the claim forms to be completed and submitted to the workers’ compensation insurance providers. Injured workers who are overwhelmed by the administrative and legal proceedings have every right to seek the assistance of an Ohio attorney with experience in this field of the law. Legal counsel can advocate for the injured worker to pursue recovery of maximum benefits, including medical expenses and lost wages.