Today we’re going to cover an issue that affects all of us: Lifting Safety. Would you believe that one out of every five workplace injuries involves the back?
The back is a complex structure of bones, muscles and other tissues extending from the neck to the pelvis. Back injuries can occur in a variety of ways, but improper lifting is a primary culprit.
1. About 80 percent of adults in the U.S. experience back pain. In addition to jobs that require lifting, what are some other contributing factors?
- Getting older
- Being out of shape or overweight
- Poor posture
- Jobs that require twisting or reaching
2. Before you begin any lift, what should you do?
- Size up the load.
- Check your surroundings to make sure there is enough space to move the load.
- Decide if you need assistance because the load is too heavy or awkward.
3. What are some general rules to follow when lifting?
- Wear gloves, if necessary, to help you grip the load.
- Position your hands in the proper locations to lift and support the load.
- Keep a straight back and bend your knees.
- Maintain a wide stance.
- Keep the load close to your body.
4. Some special rules pertain to what we call “team lifts.” What are they?
- One person should be in charge of the lift.
- People who are assisting in the lift should be about the same size to keep the load steady and level.
A Final Word
Let’s all strive to prevent back injuries in our facility. When it comes to lifting, “think it through before you follow through.”