Safety Tip: October
A lifetime of back pain only takes one wrong lift!
Over one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. –Bureau of Labor Statistics
About 80 percent of back injuries are short in duration, and workers are able get back to normal health. In the short-term, they may experience pain and reduced functioning. For some, the pain and suffering is long-term. And for a small percentage of people, it is lifelong. For employees with long-term, disabling musculoskeletal injuries, lifetime earnings may drop significantly. These employees may also suffer a loss of independence and a diminished quality of life. – National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
• Take a balanced stance with your feet about a shoulder-width apart. One foot can be behind the object and the other next to it.
• Squat down to lift the object, but keep your heels off the floor. Get as close to the object as you can.
• Use your palms (not just your fingers) to get a secure grip on the load. Make sure you’ll be able to maintain a hold on the object without switching your grip later.
• Lift gradually (without jerking) using your leg, abdominal and buttock muscles and keeping the load as close to you as possible. Keep your chin tucked in so as to keep a relatively straight back and neck.
• Once you’re standing, change directions by pointing your feet in the direction you want to go and turning your whole body. Avoid twisting at your waist while carrying a load
• When you put a load down, use these same guidelines in reverse.
• Reduce the amount of weight lifted. Better to load several small boxes than one extremely heavy load. •Get help if the shape is too awkward or the object is too heavy for you to lift and move by yourself!