Most injuries in warehouse work environments are related to lifting and back issues. While there is no lifting method that can completely eliminate the risk for back injuries, many can be prevented by using appropriate techniques. Make these methods a part of your habits to prevent injuries and downtime.
First off all, stop and think before you actually lift something. Look at what you’re about to lift and make sure it doesn’t have anything hazardous on it like sharp objects, corners, and slippery spots. Don’t reach out for an object that is above your shoulders. Use the appropriate equipment to reach objects that are higher than your shoulders. Also, be aware of your limit and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it if you cannot divide the load.
Before you pick anything up, clear the path to the destination and then follow these steps:
- Have a wide base of support by keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Maintain good posture by looking straight ahead, keeping your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back. You should have a slight arch in your lower back.
- Bend your knees and squat down to reach it, and keep it close to you as you straighten your legs up.
- Use your stomach muscles. Strong stomach muscles are the best way to support your back.
- Lift slowly by straightening your hips and knees, and not your back.
- Lead with your hips as you change directions while keeping your shoulders in line with your hips. Use your feet to change directions using small steps.
- Set down your load slowly and carefully, again squatting with the knees and hips only.
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