Avoid unnecessary back pain with these quick tips!
When you do a lift make sure you:
- 1.Size up the load – check to ensure the load is stable and balanced.
- 2. Plan the job – consider all possibilities. Is the path clear? What is the weight of the load? How much stress will be placed on your back? Is there traffic, a tripping hazard, a doorway to go through, or a stairway to go up or down? Avoid carrying an object that requires two hands to hold, either up or especially down, a flight of stairs.
- 3. Establish a base of support – use a wide, balanced stance with one foot in front of the other. Make sure you have firm footing and that your feet are a shoulders-width apart. This staggered stance gives you the stability of not falling over and being able to secure the load.
- 4. Bend your knees, keep your heels off of the floor and get as close to the object as possible. Always lift with your legs and not your back.
- 5. Be certain you will be able to maintain a hold on the object without having to adjust your grip later. You can use gloves to help maintain an adequate grip, but don’t rely on gloves because they can de-sensitize the fingers making you unable to feel the object.
- 6. Lift gradually with your legs without using jerky motions.
- 7. Keep the load close to prevent arching your lower back. As you begin the lift, tighten your stomach muscles and keep your head and shoulders up. The closer the load is to your spine, the less force will be placed on your back.
- 8. Pivot – don’t twist. Move your feet in the direction of the lift. This will eliminate the need to twist at the waist.