Back injuries are one of the most common workplace injuries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year. Back injuries are painful, and the recovery process can be expensive, slow, and unsatisfactory.
Learning how to lift items properly may prevent unnecessary back injuries, both at home and at work, and help keep the back healthy. Follow the ten steps listed below in order to lift items safely:
- Plan your lift and clear the pathway you will use.
- Wear hand and foot protection—especially when lifting heavy loads.
- Check the item for splinters and rough edges.
- Tip the item to see if you can lift it comfortably—find someone to help you if necessary.
- Check the item for handles you can use to facilitate the lift.
- Keep your back as straight as is comfortable.
- Face in the direction you need to move.
- Keep a balanced stance with your feet spread about a shoulder width apart.
- Center your body over your feet.
- Grasp the item firmly with your palms—not just your fingers—and pull it as close to your body as possible.
- Pull in your stomach in order to help support your lower back.
- Lift gradually using your legs, abdominal, and buttock muscles—not your back.
- Move your feet in order to turn—do not twist your back while carrying a load.
The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers are committed to promoting workplace safety and urge workers to follow the safe lifting guidelines listed above in order to prevent painful back injuries.
If you are seriously injured at work and need legal advice, contact a York workers’ compensation attorney toll-free at (888) 476-0807 for a free initial consultation. You may also wish to download a free copy of their book, Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured At Work?, for more information.