If you have ever hurt yourself while lifting a heavy object, you know just how important it is to practice proper lifting techniques. Improper lifting can result in a disc herniation in the lower back, a sprained wrist, a wounded toe, or any of an array of other potential injuries. Lifting is the most common cause of on-the-job back injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, lifting is responsible for 75 percent of all workplace back injuries.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure everyone in your workplace is lifting safely. If you work in an industry that involves frequent lifting, or one that requires occasional heavy-object lifting, you might consider arranging regular training sessions. When proper lifting techniques are fresh in a person’s mind, they are less likely to get hurt on the job.
8 Techniques for Proper Lifting
1. Don’t lift unless it is necessary.
If a heavy load can be handled with lifting machinery or equipment, that is often the best bet for avoiding injury on the job. Avoid the risk to employees whenever possible.
2. Make sure your path is clear.
Before lifting a load, know exactly where you are going to put it down. Check that your path is free of clutter, obstacles, and slippery floors. If you will be walking through a high-traffic area, ask those in the area to stay clear until you have finished transporting the load.
3. Protect your feet.
If you drop a heavy object, steel-toed boots and composite-toed boots can help protect your toes from being injured. Check to make sure that your footwear meets work boot safety guidelines for your job.
4. Make sure you have a firm grip on the object.
Consider the surface material of the object you are handling. Use utility gloves if you can’t get a good grip with your bare hands alone.
5. Use proper posture.
Stand as close as possible to the load. Adjust the positions of your feet until you are assuming a stable stance. Bend your hips and knees to reach the object, but keep your back straight. This helps put the strain of the lift onto your legs rather than your back. Once you are holding the load, keep it close to your body, at waist height.
6. Use your stomach muscles.
It is important to use your stomach muscles as you lift, carry, and set down a load. Be mindful about tightening your core muscles to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your back.
7. Walk carefully.
Take small steps while carrying the load. Walk slowly, and make sure you can see what is in front of you.
8. Unload properly.
Rather than bending forward to put a load down, use your knees and hips to squat down.
SIA Insurance Group provides its customers in Woodridge and the surrounding areas with top-notch insurance at great rates. Get in touch with us at 630-325-4000 to learn about how we can help protect you and your business from expenses relating to on-the-job injuries.
Become a leading distributor of fully integrated Risk Management services to the small and middle market.