Providing for your family and loved ones through physical labor is a literal embodiment of the old adage, “No pain, no gain.” Millions of Americans put their own comfort aside for eight or more hours a day in order to support themselves and others. These jobs – construction workers, lumber workers, miners, farmers, warehouse employees and hundreds more – are the backbone of American society that allow us to enjoy a wide range of comforts without enduring physical labor of our own.
Unfortunately, putting the body through physical strain day in and day out, year after year, can take a toll on anybody, regardless of how strong the individual worker is. One day, you underestimate the weight of a box of supplies in the warehouse and try to lift it on your own. One horrible noise and a shot of pain later, and your back is seriously hurt, and you are out of work for at least a few months.
Such a case is the prime reason that workers’ compensation rights were fought for as a necessary part of labor law in America. Being hurt while performing physical labor in work means two things: 1.) You are now unable to perform your job, and 2.) You are unable to perform your job because you got hurt while doing your job.
Thousands of injuries occur in America each year due to lifting incidents, and they can result in seriously debilitating injuries such as severe back and knee problems, which have long and expensive recovery processes.Workers’ Comp Rules and Regulations for Lifting
Employers are required to have insurance that can handle workers’ compensation issues, and are protected under Massachusetts law to only have to shoulder a percentage of the financial burden that such a claim causes, unless the injury was caused by the employer’s negligence. The example above would not be the fault of the employer, but the employee would still be able to file for a lifting injury workers’ compensation claim regardless.
Important factors in determining whether or not your lifting injury qualifies for workers’ compensation can be determined by six criteria that measure the limits for what can be considered “safe lifting,” as determined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety:
- The weight of the object lifted and for how long it is required to be lifted
- The placement of the worker’s hands before and during the lift
- The distance required to be traveled by the worker while lifting
- Any twisting motions required by the employee while lifting
- The number of lifts necessary to be performed by the employee in a certain time period
- The type of grip or coupling involved in the lift
So in other words, if an employee had to lift a heavy object over 50 feet from point A to point B, traverse through a winding hallway and do this 20 times over the course of a normal work day, any resulting debilitating injury that causes the worker to miss significant time and go through expensive medical treatment is a textbook example of a lifting-related workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation benefits may be used to pay medical bills, physical therapy expenses and out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance such as crutches. The benefits will also provide a certain percentage of the employee’s wages, which they will miss out on by not being able to work.
An employee does not need to prove that their employer was negligent to be awarded workers’ compensation benefits, however if they are able to prove that claim, it may result in a more substantial payment or higher percentage of their wages to be awarded throughout their injury, and the employer will face additional charges and penalties as a result.Call Our Offices Today to get Started
Physical labor jobs are not for those unwilling to exert themselves, however everybody has their own physical limits. If you were injured as a result of lifting, even if it was a normal part of your everyday job, you are still entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits under state law.
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to and that nothing is left on the table for which you may receive coverage for. Altman & Altman has over 40 years of experience fighting on behalf of injured workers, and our expertise will provide the clarity and personal attention that will provide steadying assurance in your time of need.
Call us today for a free consultation at 617.492.3000 or toll-free at 800.481.6199. We are available 24/7.