It’s estimated that 80% of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives, with work-related back injuries being among the most common culprits. People who work in warehousing, manufacturing and other light industrial industries are at the greatest risk due to the physical nature of their jobs.
Employers have a certain level of responsibility in protecting their workers from injuries. It’s on their shoulders to provide the training, proper equipment and to enforce safety standards. As a worker, you also have a responsibility to follow safe practices that minimize your risk of sustaining injury.
Here are four ways of preventing back injuries on the job.
Know and Follow Proper Lifting Practices
You should always lift with your back, not your legs – no matter how light the item is. Injuries often happen when a person bends over normally to lift an object because there’s an assumption the rules of lifting don’t apply to lighter objects. Remember to lift with your legs, tighten your core and don’t twist your torso when lifting.
Know Your Limits and Get Help If Needed
Employers have an obligation to screen employees for their physical ability to handle the responsibilities of the job. However, as an employee, you need to be honest about your capabilities and report any injuries you’re dealing with – even if they’re not work related.
If you need help lifting an object, ask for it. There’s no reason to be a hero and by asking for help or speaking to your supervisor about your limitations, you’re reducing the risk of taking time off work for a back injury.
How you hold your body, even when you’re not actively lifting, can help you avoid a back injury. Slouching and poor posture can weaken back muscles and put stress where it doesn’t need to be. Stand straight, and keep your weight balanced evenly on both feet. If you’re sitting at a desk, make sure your office chair is adjusted to support your posture, with your feet resting flat on the floor.
Minimize the Stress of Repetitive Tasks
Repetitive tasks can cause additional strain and soreness on your muscles. It’s also easy to forget safe practices when you’re doing the same task over and over again. Just because it doesn’t bother you to do something once, doesn’t mean it’s not going to hurt the hundredth time you do it the same way. Keep posture in mind and take full advantage of lifting equipment and help from your teammates where repetitive tasks are involved.
Find Your Next Great Job with Top Notch Personnel!
Worker safety should be a combined effort between employer and employees. As a provider of staffing solutions, we’re committed to connecting job candidates, like you, with, companies that take their responsibility for safety seriously. When you’re looking for a job in warehousing or manufacturing, contact Top Notch Personnel and let us connect you with a great opportunity.