Some of the most common workplace injuries happen because of poor lifting techniques.
When you go to lift something:
- Size up the job first by determining where the item needs to go.
- Is there a tool on hand that can make this lift easier? Can you break it down into a more manageable load, or should you get extra help?
- Remember to start your lift by standing close to the object. Your feet should be spread at shoulder width, bend at the knees, keep your back straight and do not bend at the waist. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift with the muscles in your arms and legs, not your back.
- If you must turn, do so by moving your feet. Do not reach and twist when holding an object. When setting an object down, apply all of the same techniques.
Poor physical fitness, lack of flexibility, stress, poor posture, lack of rest and participating in certain recreational activities can all have adverse effects on your back. Any of these combined with poor lifting practices can cause a back injury. Staying physically fit and following safe lifting tips will help avoid back injuries.
There are helpful links about lifting safety on RS SafetyTV, RS Safety Library or the free SAFEME app.
WR employs Rick Means as Director of Safety & Education who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, x118 or [email protected]