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1 Risk Management Department Lifting Safety for Special Education April, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Risk Management Department Lifting Safety for Special Education April, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Risk Management Department Lifting Safety for Special Education April, 2008

2 2 Lifting Safety for Special Education Introduction According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. Further, one-fourth of all workers compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, costing employers billions of dollars.

3 3 Lifting Safety for Special Education Introduction Back injuries are exceedingly painful. They are difficult to heal, and they negatively affect everything a person does. After you have experienced one back injury, you are much more likely to experience another one sometime during your lifetime. It is important to learn techniques and procedures that may help you prevent a reoccurrence.

4 4 Lifting Safety for Special Education Introduction If, on the other hand, you are lucky enough to have never injured your back, you can do yourself a big favor by learning how to prevent one in the future. By learning proper lifting techniques and the basics of back safety, you may be able to save yourself a lot of pain.... and a lifetime of back problems.

5 5 Lifting Safety for Special Education Introduction In this training we will cover: Anatomy of the back Types of back injuries Causes of back injuries Planning to lift Weight limits Safe lifting guidelines How to prevent injuries

6 6 Lifting Safety for Special Education Anatomy of the Back In order to understand why back injuries are so common, you have to understand a little bit about the anatomy of the back and the physical forces that come into play.

7 7 Lifting Safety for Special Education Anatomy of the Back The Spine The human spine (or backbone) is made up of small bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are stacked on top of each other to form a column. Between each vertebra is a cushion known as a disc. The vertebrae are held together by ligaments, and muscles are attached to the vertebrae by bands of tissue called tendons.

8 8 Lifting Safety for Special Education Anatomy of the Back The Spine The lower part of the back holds most of the body's weight. Even a minor problem with the bones, muscles, ligaments, or tendons in this area can cause pain when a person stands, bends, or moves around. Less often, a problem with a disc can pinch or irritate a nerve from the spinal cord, causing pain that runs down the leg below the knee, called sciatica. Every time you bend or move, these disks compress with the motion of the spine.

9 9 Lifting Safety for Special Education Types of Back Injuries If you don't protect your back, you may end up with some excruciatingly painful spinal injuries, unpleasant things like... Herniated discs Degenerative disc diseaase Tears in the annulus Collapsed discs Spinal stenosis Stretched or torn ligaments

10 10 Lifting Safety for Special Education Types of Back Injuries Every time you bend over, lift a heavy object, or sit leaning forward, you put stress on the components of your back and spine. Over time, they can start to wear out and become damaged.

11 11 Lifting Safety for Special Education Types of Back Injuries Many of the problems that cause back pain are the result of injury and degeneration of the intervertebral disc. Degeneration is a process where wear and tear causes deterioration, like when your favorite jeans get old. The disk is subjected to different types of stress as we use our backs each day.

12 12 Lifting Safety for Special Education Types of Back Injuries Eventually, disks can collapse or herniate; vertebrae can shift; bone spurs can develop. Acute or immediate injuries to the back can be caused by tearing or straining ligaments and muscles. Muscles can also spasm due to stress or tension.

13 13 Lifting Safety for Special Education Causes of Back Injuries Many back injuries cannot be attributed to a single causal factor; in other words, they tend to be the result of cumulative damage suffered over a long period of time. However, certain actions, motions, and movements are more likely to cause and contribute to back injuries than others.

14 14 Lifting Safety for Special Education Causes of Back Injuries Anytime you find yourself doing one of these things, you should think: DANGER! My back is at risk! Heavy lifting Twisting at the waist while lifting or holding a heavy load Lifting or carrying objects with awkward or odd shapes Working in awkward, uncomfortable positions Sitting or standing too long in one position Slipping on a wet floor or ice

15 15 Lifting Safety for Special Education Planning to Lift Having a plan in place for the safe lifting and transferring of all students will help reduce the risk of back injuries. Being prepared and well trained to lift and transfer student properly is an important step in back injury prevention. Assessment of risk involves analyzing: The student The care giver The environment

16 16 Lifting Safety for Special Education Planning to Lift The Student The lifting and transferring needs must also be evaluated regularly Has the students weight reached a level where they are now a two-person lift? Can they help with a standing-pivot transfer to the commode? Are they on new medication that makes them more difficult to move?

17 17 Lifting Safety for Special Education Planning to Lift The Student Other factors to consider are involving the student are: Cognitive Neurological Sensory Musculoskeletal Physical Behavior

18 18 Lifting Safety for Special Education Planning to Lift The Care giver Factors to consider are: Physical Experience & Training Readiness

19 19 Lifting Safety for Special Education Planning to Lift The Care giver Some things may contribute to your risk of injuring your back: Fatigue and stress Tense muscles Poor posture and poor body mechanics Inadequate muscle strength and flexibility Lack of fitness or poor weight control Lack of training Poor planning Repetition

20 20 Lifting Safety for Special Education Planning to Lift The Environment About the space: design, lighting, floor surface, clearance, accessibility Care giving equipment: mechanical lifts, grab bars, change tables, commodes, adapted classroom furniture

21 21 Lifting Safety for Special Education Planning to Lift The Environment The wheelchair: footrests, armrests, belts, trays, batteries, custom seating, add-ons ;including feeding pumps, communication aids, power drives, etc. Context: time of day, repetition, program demands, emergency situations

22 22 Lifting Safety for Special Education Student Lifts Weight limits The following guidelines suggest acceptable weight limits dependent on the relationship between the student, the caregiver(s) and the environment. Staff shall be considered capable of lifting up to 50 pounds as required by job description.

23 23 Lifting Safety for Special Education Student Lifts Weight limits Unless otherwise determined by a qualified practitioner and with consideration of the principles of lifting, staff will practice a one person lift where the students weight is less than 30% of that of staff (i.e., staff weighs (140 pounds, student weighs less than 45 pounds). Up to 50 pounds.

24 24 Lifting Safety for Special Education Student Lifts Weight limits Unless otherwise directed by a qualified practitioner and with consideration of the principles of lifting, staff will practice 2 person lifts for students who weigh between pounds

25 25 Lifting Safety for Special Education Student Lifts Weight limits Unless otherwise directed by a qualified practitioner and with consideration of the principles of lifting, a mechanical lift will be used for students who weigh more than 100 pounds.

26 26 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Remember in lifting, transferring, and carrying, your safety and that of the student are the primary concerns. Assess how you will lift the student. Move the wheelchair and student as close to the transfer location as possible. Plan your transfer and clear the path. Check for obstacles and obstructions (i.e., furniture, electrical cords, other students, etc.).

27 27 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Stabilize the transfer surfaces. Lock wheelchair brakes and any wheeled support. Wear non-skid shoes.

28 28 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Tell the student what you will do in the lift and what they will be expected to do. Unfasten all straps and belts. Keep feet shoulder-width apart to improve balance.

29 29 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Bend mainly at the hips and knees while maintaining normal back alignment, including an arch in the lower back. Keep the head, shoulders, and chin UP in order to lock the back into place. Lift the student as close to his or her center of gravity as possible, by the waist or crossed arms. Hold the student as close to your body as possible to decrease the weight of the load.

30 30 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Instruct and enable the student to help you as much as possible. Complete the lift before turning; do not twist your body while lifting.

31 31 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Use safety devices, including a gait belt, whenever possible. Transfer the student, rather than lift. Examples of transferring include moving the student from the floor to a standing position; from a wheelchair to a mat or chair; and from a standing table to a wheelchair. Always transfer rather than lift students who can assist you.

32 32 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Two Person Lift First lifter (behind the student) folds the students arms across his/her chest. Lifter places his/her arms under the students armpits and grasps students forearms above the wrists. Usually the taller adult stands behind the student. Second lifter (in front of the student) keeps his/her knees bent, back straight, slightly bends forward at the hips, and places both arms under the students thighs.

33 33 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Two Person Lift Lift together by counting. On the count of three, both adults lift simultaneously by straightening knees while holding the student closely and firmly. It is essential to lift in unison with a two-person lift. Generally, the first lifter (behind the student) does the counting.

34 34 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Hoyer/Mechanical Lift The Hoyer lift is a mechanical device that utilizes hydraulics to lift the student (similar to a hydraulic floor jack). A sling (similar to a hammock) is placed under the student and is secured to the Hoyer lift via chains or bars to raise and lower the student.

35 35 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Hoyer/Mechanical Lift The use of a Hoyer lift requires a little more time to place the sling under the student and to detach the chains/bars once the student has been transferred, but the extra few minutes it takes may prevent a long-term back injury.

36 36 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Ceiling Hoist The ceiling hoist is a cordless motorized lift that utilizes a track system to easily raise and lower a student as well as move a student to various locations within the classroom. A ceiling hoist must be professionally installed by a factory trained technician.

37 37 Lifting Safety for Special Education Safe Lifting Guidelines Ceiling Hoist A sling (similar to a hammock) is placed under the student and is secured to the cross bar of the ceiling hoist via loops. The use of a ceiling hoist requires a little more time to place the sling under the student and to detach the sling once the student has been transferred, but the extra few minutes it takes may prevent a long-term back injury.

38 38 Lifting Safety for Special Education How to Prevent Injuries The best way to prevent back injuries is to develop habits that reduce the strain placed on the back. There are some basic things you can be aware of to help.

39 39 Lifting Safety for Special Education How to Prevent Injuries Body Management It's important to know your body's limitations, and it's important to be aware of your body position at all times. Learn to recognize those situations where your back is most a risk: bending, lifting, reaching, twisting, etc. Then take measures to avoid an injury.

40 40 Lifting Safety for Special Education How to Prevent Injuries Body Management Stretch first - If you know that you're going to be doing work that might be hard on your back, take the time to stretch your muscles before starting, just like a professional athlete would do before a workout. This will help you avoid painful strains and sprains. Slow down - If you're doing a lot of heavy, repetitive lifting, take it slowly if you can. Allow yourself more recovery time between lifts, as well. Don't overdo it.

41 41 Lifting Safety for Special Education How to Prevent Injuries Body Management Rest your back - Take frequent, short (micro) breaks. Stretch. If you've ever been working in an awkward position for a long time, then stood up and felt stiff and sore, you know you've been in that position too long, and your body is now protesting. Taking a one minute stretch break every now and then can help you avoid that. Get in shape - Strengthen your stomach muscles, lose a little weight, increase your flexibility.

42 42 Lifting Safety for Special Education You are finished! You have finished the Back and Lifting Safety training. Download the quiz from the Risk Management websites training page. Print the form and be sure to write your name, location and employee number in the spaces provided. Complete the ten questions and have your supervisor send it to the Risk Management office


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