Back Safety: Lifting Safely – Use Your Head – Back Injury Prevention – Short Safety Video
Back Safety — Use Your Head
Most back pain is caused by an injury — the most common injuries are back strains from lifting, or twisting or bending while lifting.
Using your head before lifting anything can help make sure you do not live the rest of your life in pain.
Follow 3 simple rules to protect your back:
Make sure you have a good idea of how heavy the object is you are going to lift. Do not try to lift objects that are awkward or are heavier than 30 to 40 pounds.
Reaching overhead puts tremendous strain on your back and shoulders. Use a stepstool or ladder to raise yourself up to the level of what you are reaching.
To pick up an object that is lower than the level of your waist, don’t bend forward at the waist with your knees straight. Remember the hinge in your back that we talk about in another video. Instead, keep your spine as straight as possible and bend at your knees and hips.
Stand with a wide stance close to the object you are trying to pick up and keep your feet firm on the ground. Tighten your stomach muscles and use your leg muscles to lift the object. Straighten your knees in a steady motion. Smooth, steady movements. Never lift something by “jerking” it up.
Never lift and twist at the same time. Stand completely upright without twisting. Then move your feet, don’t twist your body.
Hold items close to your body with your arms bent. Keep your elbows in tight to your sides. Hug the load.
Unstable lifting stresses your back. Using two hands to lift keeps your body stable.
Make sure you can see the top of what you are trying to lift. Any unseen object can slide off and strike your head and face.
Use your head, remember a few safety rules before lifting, and save your back.
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