By Jeff Sheppard 31 Oct 2022 no comment 320 Views

Did you know that back injuries are among the most common workplace injuries?  By using proper lifting and carrying techniques, you can greatly reduce your risk of a workplace injury.

These tips will also help you to stay safe when lifting and carrying at home.

Lift and Carry Safely to Avoid a Workplace Injury

Firstly, stand close to the load to be lifted.

Place your feet shoulder-width apart.

Keep your back straight.  Keep your feet and body facing in the same direction.

Squat down to the object’s level and test the weight of the load.  If the load is too heavy for you, call someone else to help you.

If the weight is appropriate for you to lift by yourself:

Grasp the object.  Use your leg and arm muscles to slowly lift the load.  You should feel the pull in your knees, not in your spine.

Keep the load close to your body. Avoid twisting.

Pivot with your feet to turn and face the intended direction of travel.

Go to where you want to put the object.  Then bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its intended place.

How to Avoid Twisting

Many back injuries occur because people twist while carrying a load.

How do you know when you are twisting?  Easy:  your feet are pointing in one direction, but your face and arms are pointing in another.

To avoid twisting, use your feet.  Turn your entire body in the direction you want the load to go.

For example:  if you are lifting a box that belongs on a shelf to your right, don’t pick up the box and then twist your waist to reach the shelf on your right.

Instead, keep your spine straight, and use your feet to take however many steps you need to turn your entire body to the right.   Once your body has pivoted, you can walk straight ahead to the shelf and set the object down on it.

Times to Ask for Assistance

Firstly, if the object is too heavy for you to lift by youself, you will need help.  But there are other times to ask for assistance.

If an object has an awkward shape that makes it hard for you to get a good grip on it, ask someone else to help you.

An object might be light enough for you to lift, but also be large and unwieldy.  For example, a large sheet of thin plywood, or an oversized duvet.  Rather than trying to carry an object that you have trouble controlling–that might get caught on doorframes or other objects, or might sag and trip you–ask for assistance.

Workplace Injury Avoidance Tips

Do not lift heavy objects above your waist.

Don’t try to carry too much at once!  It’s better to make multiple trips than overload yourself.

If you have a back injury or back pain, your chiropractor can help.  Give Sheppard Chiropractic Centre a call at 635-8182 or 847-7172 and take your first step to recovery.

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