Workplace Safety Guides

   Protecting Your Back While Carrying Loads


It is very important to remember to avoid pivoting at the waist while holding a heavy load. Many back injuries are caused by this maneuver. Shift your feet to point in the direction of the carry. Remember, don't twist.

When going up or down stairs, make sure you can see where you are going to step. Don't carry so much that you can't see around or over the top of the object. When passing an object to another person, be sure the person has a good grip before you let go.

Before removing a load from a shelf, check it out. Some objects are top heavy and some could be heavier than they look. If the object should slip and fall, don't attempt to catch it. Let it drop.

Stacking and removing objects above your head could put stress on your back, shoulders, and neck. Don't stack too high or pick a shelf too high. Use a stool high enough to reach the shelf and make sure there is a place for the object before you set it down.

When you are going to place the object on a counter, use the momentum of your body and legs to raise the load. It maybe necessary to first set the load on the counter, change your grip, and then lift. If you can, bend your knees and use your leg muscles whenever possible.

Increased stress on the back can be caused by bending over to remove or place something on a lower shelf. Squat down using the strong leg muscles and hug the load as soon as possible. Aggravation can occur if you suddenly twist while in the bent position.

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