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BACK INJURY AT THE WORKPLACE

In January 2015, an employee was injured when removing a metal basket from a conveyor belt.  As the employee picked up the basket and turned to place it on the cart, felt a sharp pain on the back. The employee visiting the nurse and was referred to a physician. The employee received treatment beyond first aid.


Factors to consider at your site or project include, but are not limited to, the following:

·         The 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.

·         Using cranes, hoists and lift tables to get the heavy objects onto the transport vehicles will also reduce excess back stress.

·         Consider posture, exertion, and repetition when evaluating tasks for ergonomic hazards.

Ensure employees are evaluated by a Healthcare Provider immediately for reported injuries


Proper procedure for lifting heavy objects:

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

·         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.

·         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.

·         Lift the object gradually; using your leg and abdominal muscles. As 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.

·         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.

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