Proper Lifting Posture
One of the simplest ways that we can avoid back injuries is by always using proper lifting posture when lifting anything, especially heavy items. Approximately 80 percent of adults will experience a back injury at some point in their lifetime, and another 10 percent of those will eventually re-injure their backs. Annually, more than one million back injuries are sustained while at the workplace, and one in every five workplace related injuries is a back injury. The number of back injuries sustained in the workplace is outstanding, so for this reason every employer should have procedures in place to ensure that their staff are aware of proper lifting posture.
To avoid injury while lifting, follow these important steps for proper lifting and handling of heavy materials:
- Warm Up – Do some simple exercises first, to get your body warm and ready to perform. A couple of quick jumping jacks should do the trick.
- Stand as Close as Possible – The closer you are to the object you are lifting, the less force is exerted on your back.
- Bend Your Knees – Keep your upper body upright and bend your knees, allowing you to lift with your legs instead of your back.
- Get a Good Grip – If you cannot get a good grip on the load, consider asking for a second person to help lift.
- Lower the Object – use your legs, not your back to lower the load to the ground and keep the object close to your body.
Ensuring a proper lifting method will greatly help to avoid injuries while lifting. Avoid twisting while lifting objects, and be sure to move slowly to help keep your back injury-free.