SAFETY TIP: PROTECT YOUR BACK
August 21, 2018

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, over one million workers suffer from back injuries every year.  A few simple tips can help you from being another injury statistic.  Back injuries occur so often because there are so many different things that can cause them, leaving every worker susceptible to a potential back injury or pain.  Consider these common causes of back injury:

    • Force - A back injury may arise when too much force is exerted on your back when lifting or moving a heavy object
    • Repetition - The repetition of certain movements and having a slouching posture for too long are both causes of muscle fatigue and injury
    • Lifestyle - There are many medical conditions and lifestyle choices that contribute to back injuries such as obesity, sleeping position, smoking and stress

9 Tips for Minimizing Overexertion:

1. Notice fatigue and discomfort.  Don't lift if you're too tired or uncomfortable.
2. Know your body and use good body mechanics.  Keep your back and neck straight -don't twist- and keep your head up.  Your body knows what it can and can't lift, we are all unique.
3. Plan what you want to do ahead of time and don't be in a hurry to hurt your back.  Rushing tasks will reduce your concentration and may cause you to slip or not use the correct lifting and moving techniques.
4. Keep objects as close to you as possible and use both hands when lifting.
5. Avoid bending at the waist for prolonged periods of time.  This puts a large amount of strain on your spine and surrounding soft tissues. 

Instead:

  • Raise the work, so you don't have to bend
  • If you have to work at lower levels for any period of time, sit on a stable stool
  • Avoid storing materials at ground level


6. Minimize overhead lifting and reaching that causes the back to arch.  Excessive arching places stress on the small joints of the spine and places additional strain on the back and neck.

      • If you have to work overhead, get as close to your work as possible by standing on a platform or ladder
      • Take frequent breaks by lowering your hands and periodically bending forward with your hands on your knees to stretch out your back


7. Move your feet.  Avoid standing in one spot while working.  This can force you to repeatedly bend and twist.
8. Reduce your load.  It is better to make more small trips than one big trip with an over-sized load.  Be sure to divide your load into smaller boxes if you can.
9. Get help.  If something is too awkward or too heavy to move yourself, find another person to help.

AT Mechanical strives to provide the highest quality, the most efficient mechanical system installation at the best value, with an emphasis on customer satisfaction.

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