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Use these tips to save your back while lifting

Can you think of a day where you did not lift even a single item? Probably not. Think about all the different things you lift while on a job site. From heavy bags of cement mix for smaller jobs to almost too-big-to-handle building materials and even your tool belt, you are continuously lifting objects throughout your workday.

Like many people, you probably try to be more careful lifting large and heavy items than you do with those smaller and lighter objects. Even bending down to pick up a single tool can lead to a back injury if you do not do it just right.

Getting injured at work is never ideal. Not only will you have to deal with medical bills for doctors, prescriptions or even a hospital visit, you will also lose out on wages because you cannot work. Fortunately, New York requires many employers to carry workers' compensation insurance.

This means that if you suffer an injury while lifting a heavy load (or even a light one), you might be entitled to workers' compensation benefits that will cover your medical expenses and supplement your lost income. Read further for information on safe lifting.

Back strains and hernias

When you lift something incorrectly, it could easily result in a strained back. The strain occurs when you overstretch muscles. Another common type of injury you might experience, especially if you are lifting items on a continuous basis, is a hernia. A hernia might happen if you have to maintain an awkward position while working or lifting heavy items over an extended period of time.

Physical condition matters

Maintaining good physical condition will also help you to avoid back injuries. This does not mean that you have to sport six-pack abs or be in peak weight-lifting condition. Keeping to a proper diet, good posture and a reasonable exercise routine can make a difference, especially if you end up in a position where you have to lift a heavy load in less than optimal conditions.

Practice good technique

Before you try to lift the next load, take time to size it up. Evaluate its size and estimated weight and determine if it is safe to move by yourself or if you need an extra pair of hands. Be sure that the area through which you will carry the object is free from obstructions. Tripping while carry a heavy load can result is some very nasty injuries in addition to a wrecked back.

Be sure you get a solid grip and hold the load close so that you are using a significant amount of your body to support the weight. Carrying a load out and away from you will cause your back to strain even more. Your legs should be doing most of the work when it comes to carrying a heavy object. Also, try to avoid twisting your body.

Lifting heavy items while on a job site can lead to very serious back injuries if you do not take proper precautions or use proper techniques. Unfortunately, even perfect techniques may not be enough to save you from an injury 100 percent of the time. If you have suffered a workplace injury, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and your lost wages.

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