Safety Tip of the Week – Prevention of Back Injuries

There are approximately 400,000 back injuries each year. They are the leading source of lost time injuries and cost billions of dollars annually, not to mention the hours, days, or even months of disabling pain. In construction work, material is constantly being moved or lifted, and most often the lifter is one of you!

Preventing Back Injuries:

The following tips may prevent back injuries:

  • Think twice lift once – bend at your knees and lift with your legs.
    • Keep feet shoulder width apart with one foot slightly behind the other.
    • Tighten your stomach and buttocks muscles.
    • Hold object close to your body and do not twist when lifting. Make sure your route is clear.
  • Use mechanical lifting aids where possible.
  • Employ a team lift for objects that are too large, heavy, or awkward for one person to safely lift.
  • Combine aerobic exercise, such as swimming or walking, with exercises that strengthen and stretch your back muscles and abdomen.
    • Exercises that increase your balance and strength can also decrease your risk of falling and injuring your back.
  • Eat a healthy diet – Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Pay attention to posture when standing or sitting. If you sit for a prolonged period, change your position, or periodically get up and walk around or stretch.
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