Safe Manual Handling
April Safety Tip
Good Material Handling Tips
A big part of back health is awareness of not only proper posture but what factors may contribute to injury. Some factors include:
- Postures (awkward or sustained) – there doesn’t have to be a weight to cause stress to the back. Sometimes just the awkward posture alone can be stressful. The best posture is upright; avoid forward bending, backward bending, twisting, bending laterally/sideways. This can include extended forward reaching, which causes us to also forward bend.
- Manual forces: LIFTING ISN’T THE ONLY CONCERN!!! We should also be cognizant of:
- Lowering loads
- Pushing loads
- Pulling loads
- Carrying loads
Overall, manual lifting should be our last resort! Instead, first ask if there is a device that can be used instead. For example, rather than carrying a heavy item, is there a cart that can be used to safely move the item? The second priority is to get physical assistance, someone to assist you. The last resort or option is to handle the item alone (only if safe to do so). Use these rules to give your back a break!