Back & Lifting Safety By: Forestry Mutual Insurance Company
Know the Load Know the weight of the object prior to lifting. Is the shape of the object awkward. Do I need assistance to lift object. THINK!…before lifting. Preventing Back Injuries Proper Lifting Procedures Follow these easy steps: Take a balanced stance, feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down to lift and position yourself close to the load. Get a secure grip and try to hug the load. Lift gradually using your legs, keep the load close to your body, keep your back and neck as straight. Once standing, change directions by pointing your feet and turn your whole body -- avoid twisting at your waist. Put the load down slowly, while trying to keep the back straight as possible. Stand back up slowly. If you experience tightness you can stretch your back by elevating your arms above the head and slowly bend you back in the opposite direction.
Common Causes of Back Injuries Poor Housekeeping Tools left on floors. Spills and leaks. Materials left over from manufacturing. Improperly maintained aisles and walkways. Avoid Heavy Lifting Know you lifting limitations Repetitive lifting over long periods of time Get assistance to lift heavy loads Everyday Work Practices Repetitive working in awkward positions. Sitting or standing too long in one position ……..sitting can be very hard on the lower back. Twisting Heavy Loads Twisting at the waist while lifting a heavy load Always make your movements slowly Be aware of the area/space around you Stair Hazards Always check stairs before going up / down steps. Outside steps during cold weather conditions….icy conditions. If you observe an unsafe stairway, correct it quickly!
Building a Strong Back Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle Eat healthy foods and keep your body fluids at the correct level--never dehydrate your body. Enjoy an active lifestyle…swimming, jogging, and moderately paced activities such as softball, tennis and bowling. Exercise regularly, at least every other day. Warm up slowly before exercising..a brisk walk! Inhale deeply before each repetition of an exercise and exhale when performing each repetition. Exercise!! Knee Stretches Strengthen Abdominal Muscles Leg Raises
Lifting Safety: Tips To Help Prevent Back Injuries Have you checked the object before you try to lift it? Test every load before you lift it. How? Push the object lightly with your hands or feet to see how easy it moves – this tells you about how heavy it is. Remember, a small size does not always mean a light load. Is the load you want to lift packed right? Make sure the weight is balanced and packed so it won’t move around. Loose pieces inside a box can cause accidents if the box becomes unbalanced. Is it easy to grip this load? Be sure you have a tight grip on the object before you lift it. Handles applied to the object may help you lift it safety. Is it easy to reach this load? You can be injured if you arch your back when lifting a load over your head. To avoid hurting your back, use a ladder when you’re lifting something our your head What is the best way to pick up an object? Use slow and smooth movements. Hurried movements can strain the muscles in your back. Keep your body facing the object while you lift it. Twisting while lifting can hurt your back. Keep the load close to your body. Having to reach out to lift and carry may hurt your back. “Lifting with your legs” should only be done when you straddle the load. To lift with your legs, bend your knees to pick up the load, not your back. Keep your back straight. Try to carry the load in the space between your shoulder and your waist -- this puts less strain on your back muscles How can you avoid back injuries? Pace yourself. Take small breaks between lifting operations. Don”t overdo it – don’t try to lift something too heavy. If you have to strain to carry the load, it’s too heavy for you. Make sure you have enough room to lift safely. Observe your surroundings. Look around before you lift and as you carry the load. Make sure you can see where you are walking and know where you are going to put the load down. Avoid walking on slippery and uneven surfaces while carrying something. Don’t rely on a back belt to protect you. It hasn’t been proven that back belts can protect you from back injury. Get help before you try to lift a heavy load. Use a dolly or forklift if you can. Remember, your Back is one of your greatest assets. Please, take care of it!