Safety Tip of the Week – Back Injury Prevention

Back Injury Prevention

Your back is in motion all day, every day, even when you 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 make your work day safer.

Back injuries are the most common injury in the workplace and the cause of most missed work time. The 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 over- extending (overstretching) the back.

Safe Lifting Procedures:

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

  1. Facing the load, position your feet about shoulder width apart with one foot slightly ahead of the other.

  2. Bend your knees and squat, keeping your back straight.

  3. Get a firm grip on the load, using your hands not just your fingertips.

  4. Lift steadily with your legs

  5. Keep the load close to your body.

  6. Keep your back straight while carrying the load.

  7. Remember to follow the same procedures in reverse when putting down the load.

  8. Whenever possible, use mechanical help such as carts, hand trucks, or forklifts.


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. Back injuries can put you out of commission for a long time. Sometimes, they’ll nag you forever. So please take care of your back.

Lifting’s a breeze when you end at the knees!! 


Download flyer: STOTW_334_BackInjuryPrevention.pdf (208.38 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_334_BackInjuryPrevention_esp.pdf (207.24 kb)

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