Take Precautions to Prevent Back Injuries
We’ve got your back!
Take precautions to prevent back injuries.
If any of these risk factors are part of your job—or your recreational activities, or your chore list at home—you could be putting yourself at risk of a back injury:
- Reaching while lifting
- Staying in one position for long periods of time or staying in a bent posture
- Repetitive lifting of awkward items, equipment, or people (as in healthcare or childcare facilities)
- Twisting while lifting
- Bending while lifting
- Heavy lifting
- Lifting with forceful movement
- Whole-body vibration, such as that experienced by lift-truck drivers and delivery drivers
To avoid injuring your back in the first place, use these back safety techniques:
Adjust your workstation to fit you. If your workstation and chair are at the proper height, you are less likely to be injured.
Use mechanical aids, such as pallet jacks or conveyor belts, to minimize the need to reach, lift, or move heavy items.
Change your position. Don’t sit or stand in one position for long periods of time.
Take your breaks. They allow your muscles and tendons to rest, which is important for preventing injury.
Watch your posture. Keep your back straight. When lifting, keep your back straight and lift with your legs.
Lighten your load. Anytime you can break a heavy load into lighter ones, do so. Don’t lift heavier loads by yourself—use a mechanical aid or team lifting.
Minimize back stressors. When you must lift something, avoid bending at the waist, twisting your back, or reaching.
It’s important to catch a back injury early and treat it quickly. Know how to recognize when you’ve overdone it—because if you keep overdoing it, you could end up with a serious injury.
If you notice any of these symptoms, see a doctor:
- Pain when attempting to assume normal posture
- Decreased mobility
- Pain when standing or rising from a seated position
The pain may feel like an ache, a sharp pain, a dull pain, or a pain that comes and goes. Your back may feel hot or inflamed, unusually tight, unusually weak or fatigued, or tingly. These can all be signs of a problem that will only get worse if it is not treated.
article courtsey of CMI-York Risk Services