Lifting and the welfare of the Body
Is the welfare of your body important to you? If so you need to be aware and use proper techniques when lifting heavy objects. Almost every jobsite today will have work done by carrying objects from one point to another. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has stated that overexertion was the nation’s leading event or exposure leading to an injury or illness in the workplace, also BLS has stated that the back was the leading body part affected. Although no strategy has completely eliminated back injuries, a significant percentage could be minimized by incorporating a training program along with an ergonomics analysis.
The body is a very important to keep healthy when in this line of work. Lifting heavy items is one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace, overexertion and strain were the major factors in these injuries. According to OSHA “When employees use smart lifting practices and work in their "power zone," they are less likely to suffer from back sprains, muscle pulls, wrist injuries, elbow injuries, spinal injuries, and other injuries caused by lifting heavy objects.”
There are many possible solutions according to www.OSHA.gov that can be used to prevent someone from having these types of injuries occur to their body while in certain situations including awkward positions, holding materials for a long period of time, and outside conditions. Locate materials in a central area where machine-driven lifts such as forklifts, pallet jacks, and trucks can be used. Try to transport smaller products to the site where you limit weight you lift to no more than 50 pounds, but in the case where lifting loads heavier than 50 pounds, use two or more people to help lift the load.
When lifting these are some steps to follow according to grainger.com.
1. Stand close to the load with your feet spread shoulder width apart. One foot should be slightly in front of the other for balance.
2. Squat down, bending at the knees (not your waist). Tuck your chin while keeping your back as vertical as possible.
3. Get a firm grasp of the object before beginning the lift.
4. Slowly begin straightening your legs, lifting slowly. Never twist your body during this step.
5. Once the lift is complete, keep the object as close to the body as possible. If the load’s center of gravity moves away from your body, there is a dramatic increase in stress to the lumbar region of the back.
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