How to Prevent Pain and Injury: Back Safety Tips
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.
The amount of force placed on your back under certain conditions can be surprising. When you bend or lean over to pick something up without bending your knees, you put tremendous pressure on your lower back. Repetitive lifting and bending can quickly cause back problems. Even leaning forward while sitting at a desk or table can eventually lead to back-related problems.
At Faith Technologies we take many precautions to prevent back injuries. One initiative that we established in 2015 was our Stretch and Flex program which is designed to help employees incorporate stretching into their daily routine. A comprehensive Stretch and Flex poster is displayed throughout Faith Technologies’ office locations and jobsites; we also have trained supervisors and other select team members who lead employees through the program on a daily basis.
Here are some tips and recommendations to avoid lifting and bending to help you prevent back injuries.
- Place objects up off the floor. If you can set something down on a table or other elevated surface instead of on the floor, you won’t have to reach down to pick it up again.
- Raise/lower shelves. The best zone for lifting is between your shoulders and your waist. Place heavier objects on shelves at waist level and lighter objects on lower or higher shelves.
- Use carts and dolly’s to move objects instead of carrying them yourself. It’s healthier on your back to push carts than it is to pull them.
- Use cranes, hoists, lift tables and other lift-assist devices whenever you can.
- Avoid lifting over your head, and avoid reaching across a table or out the back of a truck.
- Avoid working in awkward, uncomfortable positions on tasks that require you to bend over for long periods of time (i.e., gardening). Also avoid sitting or standing for too long without shifting.
By following the recommendations above, you can drastically lower the risk or eliminate the possibility of an injury to the back or other extremities due to improper lifting and positioning.