No matter what type of job you do, there are many ways you can suffer injuries. One of the most common types of workplace injuries is related to the back.
Back pain has many causes. As we get older, our muscles and ligaments become less flexible. The disks that provide cushions between the bones of our spine become more brittle. The combination of years of straining, repetitive tasks, awkward positions, lifting and twisting can result in muscle aches, spasms and limited flexibility.
Risk of Injuries in the Workplace
You may be at risk of suffering work-related back injuries if:
- You lift or carry heavy objects
- Do repetitive motions, the same activity over and over
- Don’t wear the right personal protective equipment
Tips for Safe Lifting
- Know how much you can safely lift.
- Bend at the knees, not at your waist.
- Keep your back straight.
- Spread your feet apart to give your body a wide base of support.
- Stand as close as possible to the object you are lifting.
- Test to see how heavy the object is.
- Hold the object as close to your body as you can.
- Slowly lift using your muscles in the hips and knees.
- Do not bend forward as you stand up.
- Squat as you set the object down, using the muscles in your knees and hips.
Avoid strenuous activity while the body is in a twisted or bent position.
Reduce Back Injuries
- Take time to stretch during scheduled breaks.
- Use material handling devices, such as dollies, carts, skid loaders and lift trucks.
- Wear non-slip footwear.
- Keep steps on tractors and loaders clean and dry to reduce the risk of falling
- Divide the load for safer transport