April (2019) Safety Topic

April (2019) Safety Topic

Back Safety

 You can save yourself a lot of pain and a lifetime of hassles by learning proper lifting techniques and the basics of back safety. Your company may already guidelines and policies with regard to this and you should review, understand, and follow them. The following are from a company I worked with and through a collaborative effort were written by Progressive Business Publications – Copyright 2006

What leads to back injuries?

    • Lifting excessive weight
    • Using poor lifting technique such as bending over at waist or twisting with loads
    • Reaching overhead for elevated loads
    • Carrying awkwardly-shaped objects
    • Sitting or standing in one position for extended periods of time
    • Working in awkward positions for extended periods of time
  • Contributing factors: poor physical condition, extra weight and poor posture

How can back injuries be prevented?

    • Use carts and dollies where possible
    • Ask for help with heavy loads
    • Always use proper lifting techniques
    • Stretch before lifting
    • Avoid sitting or standing for extended periods of time
    • Avoid lifting loads above shoulders where possible
    • Slow down during heavy, repetitive lifting and take rest breaks
  • Sleep on a firm mattress, get in shape and use good posture

What’s the proper way to lift?

    • Test the load’s weight
    • Place feet shoulder-width apart and close to object
    • Bend the knees
    • Get a secure grip
    • Lift with the legs, keeping back straight
    • Lift evenly and slowly with the load kept close to your body
  • Avoid twisting torso while carrying load; to change directions, use feet

What if I have back pain?

    • Rest your back and avoid heavy lifting
    • For pain relief:
    • Apply cold for 1st 48 hours
    • Apply heat after 48 hours
    • Use over-the-counter pain relievers
    • Gradually begin gentle stretching
  • Consult physician if:
      • Pain persists after resting 72 hours
    • You have a feeling of numbness in your lower limbs
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