Maintaining a healthy back and strong posture is beneficial throughout our lives, allowing us to stay active for as long as possible. The British Chiropractic Organisations recommends managing back health by incorporating daily stretches and movement and taking care of any issues as they arise, rather than letting them get worse.
According to the NHS, one of the biggest causes of back injury at work is the incorrect lifting or handling of heavy objects. Even though all workplaces are required by law to have procedures and equipment in place to assist with lifting, cutting corners to save time or underestimating the weight of an item are all too common occurrences. The result can be weeks, months or even years of chronic pain and rehabilitation, all for the sake of saving a few minutes.
The Health and Safety executive have a number of tips when it comes to safe lifting in the workplace. However, we always recommend you check with your own company safe practice procedures before undertaking any sort of lift:
Plan the Lift. A little prior planning can prevent a lot of pain further down the line. Look at where the load is and where it needs to go. Remove any obstacles and use appropriate lifting aids. Consider whether doing the lift in two stages is a better option.
Body Positioning: If lifting by hand, make sure you have a stable base with both feet flat on the ground and slightly apart. Keeping the item as close to your waistline as possible will minimise the load on your spine, as will holding the heaviest part of the item close to your body. Ensure you have a good grip on the item at all times.
Do Not Bend Your Back To Lift. Really, this should be in large shouty capital letters. Bending your legs while keeping a straight posture is the recommended method, as the majority of the load will be taken by your legs. Keep your head straight so as not to put strain on your neck and never, ever twist when lifting.
Know your limits. If you don’t think you can lift it yourself, admit it and seek appropriate assistance. It’s as simple as that. And if you do suffer a back injury, seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Action Handling supply over 600 different kinds of lifting equipment to suit most workplace situations. And, if we don’t have exactly what you need, our bespoke steel service can make it for you. So there’s no excuse for poor lifting practices. Get online, browse our range or give us a call. Our friendly sales team are always on hand to help you to find exactly what you need.
For regular Action Handling updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, Sign up to our monthly newsletter for company news and information.