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KU-EHS September Monthly Safety Tip: Lifting Safety

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

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.”



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