Every year, back injuries are a leading cause of workplace injuries across the nation. Studies have shown that around 80 percent of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. We rely on our backs everyday to lift items, to reach items, to rotate, and to bend over. Reminding your employees of the tips below will help them improve their lifting techniques and maintain a healthy back!
- Keep your head up - Keeping your head level will ensure that your back remains straight in a naturally curved neutral position.
- Keep the load close - Make sure the load is as close to your body as possible. The closer the weight of the object is to your center of gravity, the less strain you will impose on your back.
- Bend at the knees, not at the waist - When you need to reach a low laying object, always remember to bend at the knees, not at the waist. Remembering this tip will allow you to keep your back straight and your center of gravity over your base supports (your feet). This will give you more lifting power.
- Keep the nose between your toes - Straddling the load ensures that you can maintain a strong core and that your feet are shoulder width apart creating a solid lifting base. Additionally, keeping your nose between your toes will ensure that you do not twist with the load, reducing your risk of injury.
- Know the weight and ask for help - Know the weight of the object before you attempt to lift the load. If the object is too large or heavy, ask for help!
In California every employer has a legal obligation to provide and maintain a safe and healthful workplace for employees, according to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973. Training your employees on topics like the above will help reduce the costs and risks associated with workplace injuries and illnesses.
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