Prevent debilitating back injuries through safe lifting practices

Feb 23, 2023
Written by WR Communications

Back injuries are costly. The yearly economic damage from back injuries for US companies is $225 billion. Poor physical fitness, lack of flexibility, stress, poor posture, lack of rest, and participation in certain recreational activities can all adversely affect the back. These factors, combined with poor lifting practices, often lead to back injuries. Conversely, remaining physically and adhering to safe lifting principles can help avoid them.

When lifting:

  1. First, determine the destination of the item that needs to be moved.
  2. Check for available tools that can aid in lifting to make it easier.
  3. Break heavy loads into smaller units to make lifting more manageable, or recruit coworkers to help.
  4. To lift correctly, stand close to the object with feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the knees, keep the back straight, and avoid bending at the waist.
  5. Tighten the abdominal muscles and use the muscles in the arms and legs, not the back, to lift the object.
  6. If you need to turn while moving the object, turn by moving your feet rather than reaching and twisting.
  7. When placing an object down, apply technique steps 4-6 in reverse.

RS SafetyTV has a selection of videos on this topic, and SAFEME Essentials has a lesson on proper lifting.

Ensuring safety is a team effort that involves everyone, from management to part-time workers. It is crucial for all team members to be committed and assist in reminding their colleagues to use proper lifting techniques to prevent back injuries. Working together to foster a safety-first culture will help create a safe and healthy work environment.

We only get one back to last a lifetime, so we must take steps to care for and protect it.

Our safety team is available to help members with safety plans and topics for safety meetings. Contact us at 360-943-9198 x122 or [email protected].


Return to newsletter