Janitorial staff can face many types of injuries that occur while they are carrying out customary job duties. Back injuries are particularly common in the industry, as well as across all industries.
For instance, did you know that a quarter of all workers’ compensation claims filed address back injuries? But janitorial staffers can employ specific safety protocols to lower their likelihood of suffering an on-the-job back injury.
Janitors can injure their backs in all sorts of ways, including:
- carrying excessive weight
- improper lifting
Below are some tips for preventing back injuries.
Use proper lifting techniques
Learning to use your legs instead of your back when lifting is a good way to prevent back injuries. Balance yourself with your feet apart at shoulder width. You can place a foot next to the object to be lifted and the other behind it. Then, squat and lift, ensuring the strong leg muscles are absorbing the shock of the extra weight instead of vulnerable back muscles.
Carry less in more trips
Heavier loads should be broken down to manageable weights. Instead of trying to tote a 75-lb box of refuse to the dumpster, divide the load by three and make three trips carrying 25 pounds.
Clear your path before lifting
If you have to walk 10 yards to the dumpster, make sure that path is obstacle-free before hefting your load and stumbling over debris.
Test loads before lifting
Something that looks small and portable could actually be incredibly heavy. If you can’t move it with a light push with your hand or foot, it might be too heavy to tote.
Use lift straps and handles
Bulky and unwieldy items may be moved more easily by employing these devices.
Filing a post-injury claim for compensation
Despite following all safety protocols and company policies for safer lifting, you may still suffer a back injury on the job. Depending on its severity as well as other factors, you could wind up with a long-term or even permanent disability. You might never again be able to earn a living working as a janitor.
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation can get you the financial and other benefits that you need to survive and meet your financial obligations.