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  • Writer's pictureMike McHugh

Back Safety

Proper Lifting Techniques

Prevent Back Injuries

·        Think defensively about your back

·        Use common sense

·        Follow good lifting techniques

Size up the Load

·        Test the loads weight by lifting one of the corners

·        Make sure you can handle the weight

·        Long objects may need to be carried by two people

If the load is too heavy

·        Ask a fellow worker for help

·        Use a dolly or other mechanical lifting device

·        Split the load into smaller ones

Lifting techniques

·        Lift with your legs, not your back

·        Place your feet close to the object

·        Center yourself over the load

·        Bend your knees

·        Get a good hand hold

·        Lift straight up smoothly


Don’t twist or turn

·        Keep the load close to your body

·        Keep it steady, sudden twisting or turning could result in injury

·        Turn your body by changing foot positions, not twisting

Know your path

·        Is your path clear?

·        Are there any holes?

·        Are there any spilled liquids?

·        Check your footing

Set it down safely

·        Setting the load down is just as critical to back safety as lifting it

·        Lower the load slowly by bending your knees

·        Let your legs do most of the work

·        Don’t let go of the load until it is secure on the floor

Push, don’t pull

·        If the object is on rollers, push

·        Pushing puts less strain on your back

·        Pushing is safer should the load tip over

Plan ahead

·        Know where you need to go before you start

Additional factors

·        Straighten up!! Poor posture can put stress on back muscles

·        Get in shape!! Poor physical condition leads to weak back muscles

·        Relax!! Stress and tension contribute to back pain

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