Lifting heavy objects is an everyday activity in most workplaces. It may seem simple, but using the wrong lifting techniques can cause major repercussions. Different types of lifting activities vary depending on the nature of the work.
From manual lifting to using lifting machines, certain precautions are to be kept in mind while doing so to avoid workplace injuries and accidents.
Occupational workplace injuries are not only painful for the workers but can also harm the productivity and efficiency of any workplace. Therefore, implementing proper safety regulations for lifting objects at work should be a prime concern for organizations.
Join us, in this blog; as it will explore numerous injuries a worker may suffer while lifting objects manually, as well as the consequences that come along with them.
Types of injuries that a worker may sustain while manual lifting:
Below are some common injuries that could occur due to inappropriate work practices:
- Strains and sprains
- Tearing of muscles or tissues
- Slipping and falling
- Crush injuries
- Fractures or dislocations
- Brain Injuries
Causes of injuries
The most common reason behind these injuries is the lack of caution while undertaking the work. Being aware of your surrounding and knowing your capabilities to perform the task competently would lower the likelihood of suffering from an injury.
Other reasons that might lead to injuries or severe health hazards are lack of proper guidance, information, training, and usage of appropriate equipment.
Employers are legally required to avoid hazardous manual operations as far as they possibly can and if it cannot be avoided, it should be thoroughly assessed to minimize the risk of injury.
They should also need to take into account their staff training needs such as manual handling training to make the workers aware of dangers and teach them ways to reduce the hazard.
All these precautionary measures when put together would significantly lower the chances of workers sustaining injuries while lifting or lowering heavy objects or items.
Consequences Deprived of Workplace Injuries:
Injuries resulting from improper lifting techniques can have a significant impact on organizations in numerous ways.
Below are some of these:
- Decreased productivity: When workers are injured, they might not be able to perform their job duties with the same efficiency, or they may need to take days off for recovery. This can lead to decreased productivity and efficiency. A worker who recently suffered from an injury would not be able to work as skilfully and timely as they did before their injury
- Healthcare costs: Injuries from improper lifting techniques can lead to substantial healthcare costs. An organization is accountable for dealing with its workers’ healthcare costs, including medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. These costs can strike the organization financially, particularly when a larger workforce is injured.
- Organization’s reputation: Workplace injuries caused by incorrect lifting activities can immensely damage the organization’s reputation. The continuous occurrence of workplace injuries will eventually catch the eye of the media and customers. This will ultimately lead to a decrease in the organization’s sales as the customers can boycott buying the products from an organization, thus, generating less revenue. Also, media coverage can overall impact the reputation of an organization.
- Legal implications: The government or the workers union can legally sue or file a case against an organization that can hugely affect its reputation. These cases can restrict many activities for a company. These restrictions can be related to an organization’s production or the limited number of workers a firm can employ. Having an impact on a workplace’s production, eventually leading to low revenue.
Thus, a company must understand its workers’ rights and provide them with proper guidance, training, and equipment to avoid such injuries and prevent legal and financial claims.
Implementing policies and procedures that prioritize employee safety must be the top priority of employers.
By doing so, companies can maintain their reputation and win the trust and loyalty of their customers and stakeholders alongside being more efficient and productive.
How to Prevent Unwanted Injuries Caused by Manual Lifting:
There are numerous precautionary measures workplaces and employers can implement to prevent unwanted accidents or injuries caused by inappropriate lifting activities. Below are some of these.
- Educating the employees: Educating employees on the health and safety risks is a crucial step in adding value to the company’s strength and workplace efficiency. A trained workforce tends to make fewer mistakes leading to lower chances of accidents, injuries, or ill health as well as increasing job satisfaction and worker loyalty.
- Normalizing machines use: Manual handling is a risky business and requires assistance to prevent the harm of injuries. Having the right equipment and machinery to undertake the work helps get the job done safely and efficiently.
- Freedom of complaint: The organization should allow their workers to report any complaint or discomfort they face. Encouraging workers’ feedback and having effective reporting systems within the workplace helps in implementing proactive approaches leading to fewer accidents or incidents.
To sum it up, incorrect lifting techniques can cause severe consequences for workers and organizations in the workplace, which can further lead to a loss in productivity and efficiency at work. There must be specific measures in place to carry out the work safely while ensuring health risks are mitigated. This in turn will help businesses maintain a positive reputation and achieve success.