What are the potential hazards of lifting equipment?
Lifting equipment at work is a common task in many industries, including manufacturing, construction, and transportation. Injuries don’t only happen in these sectors, any job in any industry could ask you to lift equipment of any size. While it may seem like a routine task, it can pose potential hazards to workers if proper safety measures are not taken. Injuries caused by lifting equipment can range from minor strains to serious, life-altering conditions.Need Advice? Let's Talk
Types of injuries caused by lifting heavy equipment
There are several types of injuries that can occur when lifting equipment. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Strains and sprains: These injuries occur when workers lift too much weight or use improper lifting techniques. Strains and sprains can cause pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. Recovery time for strains and sprains can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to heal.
- Hernias: A hernia happens when an organ or tissue pushes through a weak spot in the muscle or tissue that surrounds it. Lifting equipment can increase the risk of developing a hernia, especially in the abdominal area. Hernias can cause pain and discomfort, and may require surgery to repair.
- Back injuries: Back injuries can range from minor strains to herniated discs, and can cause pain, reduced mobility, and even permanent disability. Recovery time for back injuries can vary significantly depending on the severity of the injury and the treatment required.
Length of time you could be out of work
The length of time you could be out of work following a lifting injury depends on the severity of your injury and the type of work you do. For example, if you work in a physically demanding job that requires heavy lifting, you may be out of work for several weeks or even months. In some cases, you may be unable to return to work at all, which can have a significant impact on your financial situation.
Risks of not lifting equipment properly
Failing to lift equipment properly can result in serious injuries. Workers who do not use proper lifting techniques are at a higher risk of developing strains, sprains, hernias, and other injuries. It’s important to receive proper training on how to lift equipment safely to avoid these risks. One of the most common hazards associated with lifting equipment is overexertion. When workers lift heavy loads, it can put a significant strain on their muscles, leading to strains and sprains. Overexertion can also lead to fatigue, which can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
Costs of treating lifting injuries
The costs of treating lifting injuries can vary significantly depending on the severity of the injury and the treatment required. In some cases, treatment may involve surgery, which can be expensive. Workers who are injured while lifting equipment may also incur costs related to loss of earnings and medical bills.
Lifting operations at work can pose potential hazards to workers if proper safety measures are not taken. Employers must take steps to mitigate these hazards, such as implementing appropriate safety measures, safe working load, providing comprehensive manual handling training and personal protective equipment to workers. By prioritising worker safety, employers can prevent accidents and injuries, and create a safer workplace for everyone.
If you have been injured while lifting equipment at work, it’s important to seek legal advice from a qualified solicitor. Your solicitor can help you understand your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries, including loss of earnings and medical bills. By taking legal action, you can hold your employer accountable for failing to provide a safe working environment.