If lifting is part of your job, you need to be sure to do it in the right way. Otherwise, you could injure your back, which can cause not only pain but make it hard to continue to work.
Here are 5 tips to prevent back injuries while lifting on the job.
1. Don’t use your back when lifting
When you lift, don’t use your back muscles. Instead, be sure to use your arms, legs, and abdominal muscles when you lift, rather than your back. Bend your knees to pick up the object, not your waist. Keep your posture as straight as possible, without arching your back.
2. Lift from a comfortable position
While it’s okay to bend your knees to lift something, it’s easier to lift something at waist height or a bit lower. If you repeatedly need to squat to lift, bring it to the attention of your supervisor. The material might need to be placed on shelves or carts to make it safer to lift.
The same goes for lifting material at chest height or above. This can increase the chances of back injury. The material may need to be moved lower to make lifting safer.
3. Don’t twist at the waist
Keep your body straight when lifting a load. Don’t twist at the waist. If you find yourself needing to twist to pick something up, you need to reposition yourself.
If the material isn’t in a place where you can’t lift it without twisting, it needs to be moved. Ask a supervisor and explain the reason. No one wants you to injure your back!
4. Lift slowly and smoothly
Never lift quickly. Lifting needs to be done carefully, slowly and smoothly. If you find that you need to lift and move quickly because the load is very heavy, ask for help. It may means that the load is too heavy for one person to lift alone.
5. Wear heavy, well-cushioned shoes
Shoes are very important if you need to lift a lot at work. Because you are using your leg muscles in lifting rather than your back muscles, your legs need to have proper support. Wear heavy, well-cushioned shoes to help you lift safely.
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