Back Injuries… don’t let it happen to you!Posted by in News & Events
Did you know according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics one million workers suffer back injuries each year? A back injury does not just impact our daily work, it can affect our lives.
When do back injuries happen? When lifting!
- Injuries occur during lifting because…
- Improper techniques; such as lifting with the back and not the legs
- An object is too heavy
- Twisting while lifting or carrying objects
- Repetitive lifting during a task
So… How can we prevent back injuries?
Eliminate – The best way to prevent back injuries is to eliminate as many lifts as possible. Using equipment such as forklifts, heavy equipment and dollies are the best way to limit risk. Breaking down large or heavy items first can help too!
Engineering Controls – Setup work areas to be ergonomically friendly. Install mechanical lifting devices and conveyor belts where feasible to limit the handling of objects. Install proper shelving and setup storage areas that keep objects and lifts within an optimal range. These techniques limit awkward and dangerous lifts.
Administrative Controls – Use the buddy system when lifting any awkward or heavy objects. If an item weighs more than 100 pounds it is better lifted by a team or using a tool.
Personal Protective Equipment – PPE’s like safety belts and back support can reduce the risk of back injuries – but it is never a sure thing. In order to protect yourself be sure to use proper techniques.
Stretch – Make sure to stretch your back and body before any heavy lifting. This will help loosen up the muscles and avoid them being tweaked.
Good luck and remember to be smart and safe!
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