Avoiding Lifting Injuries at Work
By Randi Morse
Heavy lifting injuries are one of the most common types of injuries you'll find in a workplace. Employees try to avoid heavy lifting injuries because they can cause a great deal of pain and can make it difficult to work for a long time. Their employers want to avoid these types of injuries from occurring because they will create productivity loss and may raise workers compensation premiums. There are a few things you can do to help prevent heavy lifting injuries in the workplace.
- The right technique - It's extremely easy to get into bad habits when you're lifting things. If you stick with using the right techniques, however, you are much less likely to deal with the type of back injuries that can occur when you lift incorrectly.
- Bend your knees - It is never a good idea to bend from the waist and lift something up. Instead, bend with your knees and then lift. This puts much of the pressure on your legs which have muscles that are designed to handle heavy loads.
- Avoid reaching too high - Stretching up on your tip toes may allow you to get closer to the item you're trying to reach, but it also puts more strain on your body. Utilizing ladders and step stools is the safest way to reach something over your head.
- Avoid bending repeatedly - Place the items that you use every day within easy reaching distance. This way you're not bending down to pick things up regularly. If your job requires that you bend often, speak with your employer about the possibility of getting a lifting belt. This type of belt provides support to your lower back.
- Watch the twisting - Just as you should never bend from the waist, you should also avoid twisting your back as much as you can. If you twist and bend to gain access to items, you are making your spine, muscles, and tendons over work which makes you much more likely to get a back injury.
- Use the right materials - As I referenced before, there are some products that you can purchase that will help to prevent heavy lifting injuries. Items like weight belts and lifting straps are specifically designed to reduce the amount of stress lifting puts on your back. If you work in a job that requires you do a great deal of lifting, make sure you speak with your supervisor, or with your company's nurse, about the possibility of getting these helpful products.
Heavy lifting injuries are highly avoidable, it is up to both the company and the employee to do everything they can to prevent them. If you are suffering from lifting injuries, speak with an experienced chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic about your situation.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fairview Park, Ohio