Safety Tip of the Week – Back Injury Prevention

Your back is in motion all day, every day, even when sleep. It bends when you sit, twists when you turn, lifts when you stand, and supports you when you walk. An injured back can be uncomfortable, or it can be disabling. By learning a few back injury prevention techniques, you may be able to make your workday safer.

Back injuries are the most common injury in the workplace and the cause of the most missed work time. An injury can be caused by a strain, spasm, or sprain to the ligaments or muscles of the back. This can happen due to lifting something that’s too heavy or overextending (over stretching) the back.

Safe Lifting Procedures:

Following safe lifting procedures can prevent the majority of back injuries, so let’s review them:

  • Facing the load, position your feet about a shoulder width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other.
  • Bend your knees and squat, keeping your back straight.
  • Get a firm grip on the load, using your hands not just your fingertips.
  • Lift steady with your legs.
  • Keep the load close to your body.
  • Keep your back straight while lifting the load.
  • Remember to follow the same procedures in reverse when putting down the load.
  • Whenever possible, use mechanical lift devices, such as carts, hand trucks, or powered industrial trucks.


As we mentioned, the single most common source of back injuries is improper lifting. Remember that each and every time you prepare to lift something, a back injury can put you out of commission for a long time. Sometimes, it will nag you forever. So please, prevent your back from being injured.

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