We all get in a rush a work sometimes trying to meet deadlines, increase our efficiency or pick up slack from being short-staffed or overwhelmed from the abundance of tasks. But one thing everyone should keep in mind — in all occupational industries — is that safety should be the top concern for employers and employees alike. Heavy lifting, carrying, placing, holding and improper lifting account for serious injuries and even death in many jobs, not just construction, manufacturing and industrial workplaces. In fact, more than 1 million workers suffer each year from back injuries, and according to the U.S. Department of Labor, back injuries account for 20 percent of workplace illnesses and injuries. This is enough to make back injuries the No. 1 workplace safety problem in America.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), heavy lifting is the leading cause of workplace injuries. The administration provides many factors that affect lifting and lend to the occurrence of accidents, including:
- weight of objects being lifted is too great
- lifting while bending or reaching
- carrying objects in a way that unevenly distributes weight
- holding or lifting an object for an extended period of time
- inadequate handholds or handles
- working in extreme temperatures which can affect the body's muscles and flexibility
While improper lifting may be attributed to the worker, it's important to note whether or not workers are given proper training to complete the tasks assigned to them. Providing proper training and a safe workplace environment is the responsibility of the employer, supervisor or manager, so if you've experienced a lifting injury, it may not be your fault.
Neck & Back Injuries at Work
Neck and back injuries are the most common, and can be the most severe, types of injuries suffered on the job. No matter the reason for the injury, a neck or back injury can have lifelong effects, forever limiting your mobility or ability to work. Those who have a back or neck injury may not be able to return to the same line of work, they may be permanently disabled, and they may experience a kind of hardship they never thought possible.
At Shigo Law Firm, our attorneys want to fight for your right to compensation if you've been injured. Don't let increased medical bills and stress add to your situation. We know that any workplace injury can halt your paycheck and put your family at risk as money for groceries and bills dries up.
Unfortunately, we see clients who do not pursue their rights to file a workers' compensation, Social Security disability, or personal injury claim because they don't want to seem greedy or they are worried about retaliation from their employers. These reasons should not keep you from seeking help. Compensation when injured is your right as a worker, and Shigo Law is here to help you when you need it most.
Lifting Injury Attorneys
Thomas and Lynne Shigo are dedicated to representing and fighting for injured workers. From the time of the accident or injury to the very end of your case — including appeals if necessary — our workplace injury attorneys work diligently to ensure your claims are filed correctly, that you qualify for compensation, and that your benefits are approved.
If you've been injured …
If you have been injured on the job, there are certain things you need to do right away to ensure speedy compensation.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Complete medical records may be used as evidence in your workers' compensation, Social Security disability, or personal injury claim.
- Hire legal representation. Many people believe they will only need an attorney if their claims are denied or they are unjustly fired while injured. Shigo Law Firm helps our clients at every step, including filing claims, answering questions from insurance companies, filing appeals, attending hearings, and gathering evidence for claims.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw your injury occur. This can include co-workers, supervisors and even bystanders who are not associated with your company.
- If you are able, take pictures of the accident site. If you are severely injured, have someone who witnessed the accident take pictures while you seek medical attention. If taking pictures is not an option, and you are not severely injured, take notes of the scene and try to remember as many details as possible.
- Collect the paperwork to file a workplace injury. This paperwork often does not need to be completed immediately, so if you've suffered a head injury, or you're feeling dazed, it may be best to wait to complete the form until you can think clearly.
Shigo Law Firm is here to help you during your workplace injury. We'll stand with you against the insurance company or governing agencies to help prove your case so you can receive compensation and benefits for which you qualify. Don't hesitate to contact a workplace injury lawyer if you've experienced a lifting injury.