Back safety & Manual handling: Your back is a sophisticated piece of machinery made up of numerous muscles, bones, nerves, and supporting tissues. It’s a machine you use every day, probably in ways you don’t even notice. Just like the finest machinery, your back requires proper care to keep it working.
While Manual handling:
- Don’t bend over an object you are lifting. Bend your knees, squatting in front of the object to reach it.
- Lift the object slowly and carefully, using your leg and arm muscles to lift, not pulling with your back.
- Keep your head up and look straight ahead while making the lift.
- While lifting, keep the object as close to your body as possible.
- Keep abdominal muscles tight while making the lift.
- Use the same techniques when you put the object down.
- If the object is too big or too heavy (more than 25 kg) to lift using these techniques, use mechanical assistance.
When reaching for objects:
- Do not reach for an object unless you’re sure you’re strong enough to lift it.
- Use a step ladder to reach objects above shoulder height.
- Avoid awkward stretches while reaching.
- Don’t depend on structures to support you (e.g. A shelf support, a storage rack, etc.) These could easily give way if you pull or tug on them.
Exercise also plays an important role in keeping your back strong, healthy, and flexible. A properly exercised back is less likely to be injured. Always be alert for situations that could cause a back injury. Be kind to your back. Don’t take unnecessary chances. By following proper lifting and reaching techniques and exercising properly, you’ll help keep back problems behind you!