Anyone who has injured their back knows—back injuries are no fun! Plus, they can lead to chronic back pain as you age. Despite being quite common, back injuries are preventable if you take the right precautions.
Five tips to keep your back safe:
Back injuries happen most often from improper lifting and carrying techniques on the job, but can also be due to long-term bad posture. You can protect your back with the following safety tips:
- Assess a load before you attempt to lift it.
Before you attempt to pick an object up, take the time to figure out how much it could weigh. Just because something is in a small package doesn’t necessarily mean it’s lightweight. Push on the object lightly with your hands or feet to help you assess its potential weight. Read any labels on the package, if available.
- Use your legs, not your back.
You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s one of the best ways to protect yourself from back injuries. To properly lift something, crouch down next to it, bend your knees, and then lift using your legs. Never bend at the waist to lift an object, as this puts strain on your back.
- Walk on safe surfaces.
While lifting or carrying an object, be sure you’re walking on a skid-proof surface. Avoid walking through wet or slippery conditions, as this could cause you to lose your footing, slip and fall.
- Use equipment when you can.
This could include straps, handles, dollies or carts. Why do the work when a handy tool or machine can do it for you?
- Don’t overexert yourself.
In other words—don’t be a hero! If an object is too heavy for you to safely lift, don’t do it. Ask for help or alert your supervisor or manager the object needs to be lifted using tools or machinery.
Your health is up to you.
It’s ultimately your job to make choices that help you keep yourself safe on the job. Learn and follow proper lifting and carrying techniques to help protect your back. For more information, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) online, or check with your supervisor or manager.
Looking for a new job?
If you’re in search of something new in the tri-state area, contact Inter-Connect! We work with qualified candidates to find light industrial, office/clerical jobs and more! To get started on the path to your next position, contact us today!