Every day we use our backs for lifting and rarely think about possible injury. It’s not until we’ve hurt ourselves that we become acutely aware of the importance of proper lifting mechanics and body posture. Understanding and using proper lifting mechanics can aid you in maintaining a healthy back for many years to come.
Proper Body Mechanics:
- Evaluate your lift. Can you lift it comfortably? Is it too heavy, bulky, or awkward to lift alone? Is there a mechanical device such as a handcart or dolly that can help?
- Plan your path. Check to make sure your path is clear with no obstructions and that you have a safe place to set your load.
- Prepare for your lift using a straight and upright back, tightening your stomach muscles, and tucking your chin into your chest.
- Make sure your footing is firm and that your feet are shoulder-width apart for balance. One foot should be close to the load, the other slightly behind you.
- Lower yourself into a squatting position with your back upright – do not bend at the waist.
- Use your whole hand, not just your fingers, to grip the object firmly.
- Keep the object close to you, and with a straight back, start your lift.
- Allow the stronger muscles in your thighs do the lifting.
- As you straighten your legs, look up, move slowly, and exhale during the lift.
- Never twist at the waist or knees; instead, pivot on the balls of your feet.
Following these simple rules for lifting safely and using proper body mechanics can help to maintain a healthy back and avoid serious and painful injuries.
All content from Key Risk