According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers experience back injuries each year. One fourth of all workers compensation claims that APEI sees are a result of back injuries. A recent BLS survey shows that 75% of back injuries occurred while performing lifting tasks, which is why safe lifting practices are so important. There are thousands of resources on the internet that can help with safe lifting practices and provide excellent training for your workers. There is even a phone app that calculates how much you can safely lift. Click here to view the app created by Oregon OSHA. Here are four basic steps that will assist you in proper lifting techniques.
1. SIZE UP THE LOAD
a. Use a hand truck if possible.
b. Get help if you need it.
c. Check for slivers, nails, exposed staples.
d. Use gloves if necessary.
e. Make sure you have a clear path to where you are moving it to.
a. Bring the load as close to you as possible before lifting.
b. Lift with your legs, not your back.
c. Keep your head up, your back straight and bend at your hips.
a. Keep the load close to your body.
b. Look where you are going.
c. Shift your feet to turn, don’t twist your body.
4. GET SET AND LOWER
a. When setting a load down, let your leg muscles carry it down.
Make certain your fingers and toes are clear before setting the load down