Every day lifting and back related injuries occur, a recent study from the Bureau of labor indicates more than 185,000 back injuries occur in private industry. Out of those injuries more than 25% resulted in lost time. There are 4 basic steps that can protect against injuries making lifting easier and safer: Planning:
- Look at the size of the load you are carrying, identify key characteristics, too heavy, odd shape etc.
- Identify where you are moving the load. Make sure the walkways is clear and free of obstructions
- Use mechanical lifts, handcarts or dollies to assist
- Get as close to the load as possible
- Check your footing
- Keep your feet shoulder –width apart and maintain balance
- Keep your back straight and your stomach muscles tight
- Bend at the knees and lift with your legs
- Lift slowly in a smooth motion- avoid twisting
- Hold the load close to your body
- Never carry something that obstructs your view
- More your feet to make turns – do not twist
- Maintain a straight back and tight stomach muscles
- Use extra care when ascending and descending stairs
- Avoid bending your back
- Squat down, bending at your knees with a straight back
- Don’t stretch or over reach
- Keep your fingers and toes from underneath the load
Finally the best way to help avoid injuries is to ask for help ! Assistance from others can significantly reduce the risk of strains and injuries. It doesn’t take much to injury your body and it is important to follow these measures proactively.
This article is brought to you by The Bulow Group in connection with West Bend Insurance.