Reduce Back Injuries

Back Injuries are a major cause of increased workers compensation costs. Even more alarming is the impact a back injury will have on your everyday routine. Constant pain, no sports, can’t lift a child, no dancing or romancing. It is time to get serious about reducing back injuries.

Of all of the manual handling injuries that can occur injuries to the back are probably the most easily identified and the simplest to avoid.

As with any form of activity your risk of back injury is lower if you are fit and have strong abdominal and core muscles –  having a hot bod and protecting your back- is any more motivation required?

Below are the very basic steps of protecting your back during a lift. Remember proper risk assessment is key to avoiding any injury.

Plan it first – make sure your walking path is clear and that the load is suitable for a one person lift, dont block your vision with the load, keep it waste hight.

Take a stance – Have your feet apart and facing the direction you are going to walk, I know that sounds obvious but if you have to twist around to walk off you are in the wrong position.

Bend it – always, always, always, bend at the knees! crouch down and scoop up the load. If crouching is a problem for you then you really need to ask yourself “Should I be attempting this at all?”

Oh Natural – Maintain the natural curve of your spine when you are scooping up the load: During the lifting task Knees Bend, Backs Don’t!

Get a Grip – Ensure you get a firm grip on the load before you start to move. If the object is sharp, hot, cold, slippery or difficult to grip consider getting some gloves.

Dropping your load – Knees bent taking the load back to the ground. Thighs are the biggest muscle in your body for a reason – use them.

Phone a friend – well maybe give them a yell and ask them to help with the load if it is too heavy or too difficult, sometimes the weight of the load may not be the problem it could be the size or shape and if you have to take it more than a few metres get a trolley.

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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