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LIFTING TECHNIQUES

Preventing back injuries can be a major challenge for some employers.

  

   Before lifting, take a moment to think about what you are about to do. Examine the object for sharp corners, slippery spots or other potential hazards. Know your limit and do not try to exceed it. Ask for help if needed. Or if possible, divide the load to make it lighter. Know where you are going to set the item down and make sure the destination and your path are free of obstructions.

   If you must turn while carrying the load, turn using your feet, not your torso. To place the object below the level of your waist, follow the same procedures in reverse order. Remember to keep your back as vertical as possible, and bend at the knees. To evaluate a worker’s lifting habits, consider the following variables: frequency of lifting, duration of such activities and type of lifting, as well as the worker’s state of health, body size, age and general physical fitness.

   Using proper lifting techniques can help prevent downtime due to avoidable back injuries. With a little practice, precautionary methods such as these can become good daily habits that could help prevent back injuries both on and off the job.