Basics Tips for Preventing Workplace Back Injuries

As a business owner or manager, have you ever had to deal with a back injury at work? There’s a good chance you have—according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries account for one out of every five work-related injuries. Back injuries can occur across a wide variety of industries, from construction to office work, and can lead to serious pain. In many cases, someone with a back injury may be unable to work or unable to do their previous job duties, which can be stressful for everyone.

To prevent back injuries at your workplace, have your team follow these tips!

Before You Lift, Size Up the Load

Before someone lifts up a box or other object, they should first decide if they can manage the weight on their own. As a general rule, men can typically lift about 37 pounds on their own, while women can generally handle about 28 pounds by themselves. If something seems too heavy for an employee to lift on their own, they should break into smaller loads, if possible, or ask others for help.

Lift as a Team

By lifting and moving heavy objects together, your team members can move objects safely and more quickly, which increases productivity and prevents injuries. When objects are being lifted as a team, there should be one person in a position to observe and direct the others, like by pointing out any debris in their path. Movements like lifting and lowering should be done in unison to prevent injuries.

Get a Grip

When someone is lifting by themselves, back injury prevention starts with a good grip. Objects should be gripped by the hands, not the fingers. Stable footing is also important, and workers should keep their feet positioned so that one foot is beside the load and the other is behind it. In some industries, lifting might also require specific personal protection equipment, such as gloves.

Use the Right Movements

To prevent lifting-related back injuries, your employees should use the right technique for lifting heavy objects. For example, the load should be picked up by bending the knees, not the back. If someone bends to lift an object, they greatly increase their chances of a painful back injury.

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