Employees can sustain serious injuries while incorrectly lifting and carrying objects at the workplace. In fact, about a quarter of all work-related injuries involves the improper manual handling of items, according to the National Safety Council. Thus, it is crucial that employees receive safety training so they can learn how to safely lift and carry heavy objects.

Common occupational injuries related to the mishandling of materials include cuts, bruises, fractures and sprains and strains, particularly to a person’s back. While the NSC stated that there are no fail-safe rules for safe lifting, the agency does recommend several tips for employees who do a lot of lifting and carrying at the worksite.

While lifting objects, workers should avoid twisting their backs or bending sideways. Attempting to lower or lift an object while in an awkward position can also lead to serious injuries. Employees should also ask for assistance from co-workers or use mechanical lifting tools for objects that are too heavy to lift alone. When lifting or lowering objects, workers should not extend their arms, and they should never lift objects below their knees or above their shoulders.

Employees should also test an item’s weight first and then ensure they have a good grip on it before attempting to lift it. When picking up something, individuals should keep the object close to their bodies and point their feet in the direction they are moving. They should straighten their legs to lift the item.

Workers’ compensation benefits can be very helpful for those who are unable to work after sustaining on-the-job injuries. Workplace accident victims who struggle with filling out the paperwork or receiving their benefits might wish to consult with attorneys that handle these types of claims.