Be careful when lifting objects
It can be very tempting and almost feel more natural to bend from your back to lift an object off of the ground. However, lifting with your back can be extremely harmful to your body. The best way to lift heavy objects is by bending from the knees and using your leg muscles to lift.
Helpful tips: Before you lift, make sure there is a clear path to where you are going to move the object to. It is important to position your body close to the object you are trying to pick up with your feet shoulder-length apart on a stable surface. Next, it is crucial to get a good grip on the object you are trying to lift. When ready, begin to stand up and use the muscles from your legs to lift the object. Be sure not to twist from side to side or move too fast. Always try to keep the object as close to your body as possible to help prevent an injury while lifting.
Know your limit: If the object is too heavy to lift on your own, use lift assist equipment such as a dolly or forklift, or ask a friend for help lifting the object.
Did you know? According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of all workplace injuries and illnesses are made up of back injuries. This means that over one million work-related back injuries are reported each year. These back injuries may include strains, sprains, and herniated disks, which may be prevented by practicing safe lifting habits. The majority of cases were caused by the worker lifting and twisting from side to side at the same time. If the worker had practiced safe lifting habits, their injury may have been prevented.
How employers can help? Employers can hold a safety meeting to train their employees how to lift properly. Employees can also take notice and offer help to a coworker in need of assistance.
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