What Is the Labor Law Limit for Picking up Heavy Items?

Updated on December 26, 2009
C.C. asks from Visalia, CA
5 answers

I've looked this up online, but havent actually seen anything written about labor law lifting limits for females on the work force. Im a house keeper and almost over did myself trying to pick up the trash compacter trash that was full of magazines. It took two of us to pick it up and out and then walk to the trash bend, which was 1/2 a blk away being rural and all. Told my boss that I wouldnt be doing that anymore, he said he would send his assistant a female to do it. I said, you dont get it, its a hazard and unless you want to pay for her strained back, please tell the client leave out the mags or provide a wagon. He didnt want to do it, said the client been with him for blah blah years and now we dont want to take the trash out. Whatever!!

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So What Happened?

the last time i cleaned the house, the trash was of normal weight. my partner and i agreed we would simply get another trash bag and take from the trash compactor of heavy mags. there is also a labor law that says to do 'risk assessment'. if its going to hurt you, dont do it. i've had clients tell me to step on a ladder in the shower or tub to reach the mildew atop. i politely tell them its not stable since the bottom of shower/tub is not level and wont be doing that request. does it matter what the labor law says? you bet it does!!

More Answers



answers from Honolulu on

Maybe call "OSHA" or check their website.

I think, it is the responsibility of your BOSS (ie: the business owner), to provide proper "lifting" assistance.
If anyone gets a back injury... well, you know where that can go, and all the red tape and blah blah blah.

Try telling your Boss again. Research OSHA, and perhaps wear a back-belt? But your boss should provide that too, I believe.

All the best,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

um i think with most jobs that have heavy lifting the requirement is being able to lift 50lbs. but if you need help ask dont strain yourself. like you said it took 2 of you to lift it. maybe ask the actual client leave a polite note stating that it was an inury risk and if he/she would put the mags. in a crate you will dispose of them as needed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I believe it's 50 lbs.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.:
Does it really matter what the labor laws are regarding weight? If your boss is ordering you to lift it,and you tell him your not able,(unless your union),he can let you go and simply state his reason for firing you, was you weren't able to handle the work load.It's obvious your bosses only concern is pleasing his clients,so,rather than take A chance of permanently injuring yourself,I'd follow Jacy's advice. Leave A nice note and if that doesn't work,then get help each time you must lift the magazines. Better safe than sorry.Is your boss right to ignore your pleas? NO. Is it worth getting fired or injured over? Nah. I wish you the best.J. M



answers from Los Angeles on

It is 25lbs unless or whatever your job hired you into. YOu can get a note from your MD that will change your requirements and that is legal. If your work does not oblige you can go on payed early maternity leave. I had to deal with that when I was pregnant. They obliged.

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