Maybe you’re a new employee who is interested in proving yourself to your boss or your coworkers, hoping to get the job done as quickly as possible. Maybe you’re an experienced employee who knows the risks you face in the workplace but who has become complacent with time. Maybe you’re getting pressured from your boss and you feel like you have no choice but to work quickly. 

This mindset often causes workers to overexert themselves, especially when lifting heavy items. Stopping to find someone to help you takes time. Getting the proper machines or lifting aids takes time. The quickest way is to simply try to pick the item up yourself, regardless of how hard it is. If all you’re thinking about is working quickly, that’s what you do. 

And that can put you in very real danger when looking at injury risks. It is crucial to limit how much weight you lift or carry on the job. Even if you think you can do it, it may be too heavy. You can strain your back, pull muscles, tweak tendons or even cause serious spinal injuries. Overexertion is a common cause of injuries, and it’s incredibly hard on the body — especially if it happens often. Just because you managed the lift once doesn’t mean you should do it every day. It can take a toll over time and lead to an injury eventually. 

If you do get injured on the job, perhaps by accidentally lifting something that is too heavy or perhaps because of pressure from your employer, make sure you know how to get medical care and what other legal steps you need to take.