Lifting injuries due to poor technique are very prevalent not only in the workplace but in everyday life. Understanding simple mechanics of proper lifting could not only prevent workplace injuries but also improve your overall quality of life by decreasing your chances of a serious back injury. This week we will dive deeper into why it’s important, provide tips for preparing for a lift, discuss the do’s and don’ts and provide the basic mechanics of a proper lifting technique.
Monday – Why it’s Important
Today we are going to kick off this week’s topic by discussing why using proper lifting techniques is important not only in your workplace but in everyday life. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers experience back injuries each year. One-fourth of all workers' compensation indemnity claims are a result of back injuries. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons that people miss work, second only to the common cold. More importantly, this problem causes unnecessary discomfort and pain to workers which can have a devastating effect on their lifestyle. A BLS survey shows that 75% of back injuries occurred while performing lifting tasks.
Tuesday- Before you Lift
Now that we’ve addressed why proper lifting is so important let discuss ways to plan ahead to avoid a lifting injury.
- Know what you are lifting and how you will lift it.
- Be aware of the weight of the object.
- Determine whether it’s safe to lift on your own.
- Make sure the work area is flat, dry, and clear of debris.
CHECK YOUR PATHWAY
- Make sure the lift pathway is clear.
- Remove any tripping hazards or debris.
- Check for any wet or slick surfaces.
USE ERGONOMIC EQUIPMENT
- Use lift assists, forklift, dolly, cart, hand truck, or hoist.
- Make sure you are trained before using the equipment.
GET HELP WHEN NEEDED
- When lifting awkward or heavy loads, utilize a two-person lift.
- Make sure you lift at the same time and keep the load level.
Wednesday – Lifting Do’s and Don’ts
Lifting is a part of our everyday life whether it’s lifting a child for a piggyback ride or lifting a box of goods to ship at work. Understanding these important lifting do’s and don’ts could help you maintain a healthy back for many years to come.