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Editor’s Note: This is the third and final installment of a special report on avoiding back injuries, the most common workplace injury.

Avoiding workplace injuriesThe best way to avoid injuring your back while lifting is to avoid lifting whenever possible. Using carts and dollies, rather than your legs and back, is the best way to transport heavy objects without lifting them. Pushing a cart is always easier than pulling it. And using cranes, hoists and lift tables to get the heavy objects onto the transport vehicles will also reduce excess back stress.

Proper Lifting Procedures Explained

While you probably can’t always avoid any lifting in the workplace, you can improve your chances of avoiding a back injury if you follow the proper lifting procedures in order to minimize the amount of pressure you place on your lower back.

The first thing to remember is to always bend at the knees. This allows your spine to maintain its natural “S” shape, so you essentially eliminate the fulcrum/lever principle that occurs when your back acts as a crane, rather than allowing your legs to do the work.

Here are the proper procedures for lifting heavy objects:

1. Assume a balanced stance with your feet approximately below your shoulders. Keep one foot behind the object and the other next to it.

2. Squat down to lift the object, but keep your heels lifted off the floor. Move your body as close to the object as you can and keep your back as straight as possible.

3. Use your palms, not your fingers, to securely grip the object. Make sure you can maintain a hold on the object without switching your grip once it’s off the ground.

4. Lift the object gradually, don’t jerk it off the ground, using your leg, abdominal and buttock muscles. Ask you lift, make sure to keep the object as close to you as possible. Tucking in your chin will help keep your back and neck line straight.

5. Once you reach the standing position, change direction by pointing your feet in the direction you want to go and turning your body to follow. Never twist at the waist when you are carrying a heavy load.

Less Back Injuries Equals More Profits

Consistently following these lifting procedures and training your employees to do the same can help substantially reduce the number of workplace back injuries, improving your productivity, reducing workmen’s compensation claims, and keeping your workforce healthier, happier and more profitable.

Support equipment and ergonomic supplies such as those offered by Bahrns is a another great way to avoid workplace injuries, specifically back injuries. Check out our wide variety of ergonomic support products that can help you avoid injury, increase productivity, and earn more profits.

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