Whether you realize it or not, you probably lift throughout the day when you are at work. You may lift small items or entire people, depending on your line of work. Health care, industrial and office workers are all susceptible to injuries resultant of improper lifting. If workers understand how to lift properly, they may easily prevent many of these incidents and avoid injury.
According to the United States Department of Labor, lifting injuries are one of the foremost causes of missed work days on the job. Regardless of what industry you work in, you should consider the following tips for lifting safely. Applying these techniques can save you from injury and missed work.
Do not bend forward
Many people make the mistake of bending forward when they are lifting, but this can have disastrous results. When you bend forward to lift, you put the burden of the item’s weight on your back. As you lift, if your back is at all weak, the excessive strain can damage muscles dramatically and painfully. Rather than bending over, bend your knees and crouch before you attempt to lift a heavy item.
Get help when needed
Sometimes, an item is too heavy for one person to lift alone. In such cases, it is imperative that you seek help from a colleague in order to perform the lift safely. This is especially true of health care workers who must help patients in and out of bed or other situations. Attempting to lift an entire person’s body weight is dangerous, but with help, it may be possible to perform this task safely.
Do not lift above shoulders
Lifting above your shoulders is almost as dangerous as lifting with your back. This is a surefire way to put excessive stress on your shoulders, arms and upper back. The stress might, then, result in injury if the maneuver damages your muscles. Keep items level at your torso instead, and if you must lift them to a higher level, get assistance from a colleague or ladder.