Safety Update



Success Rides on Employees' Backs--So Take Care of Those Backs!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

While it’s easy to take precautionary measures to prevent back injuries, it’s much harder to treat and resolve back problems. Below we list the common causes of back injuries in metalforming plants, courtesy of health and wellness company Concentra, Addison, TX, as well as prevention tips.

Six leading causes of back injury:

• Traumatic events

• Poor posture

• Poor physical condition

• Improper body mechanics

• Lifting awkward objects

• Assuming awkward positions

Safe lifting techniques and body mechanics:

• Plan your lift mentally before you do it physically.

• Test the object’s weight before lifting it. If you will need to carry the object any distance, check that you have a clear walking path.

• Ask for assistance from a coworker when appropriate.

• Use the stronger leg muscles by bending the knees, not the back.

• Support the back by maintaining core strength with the abdominal muscles.

• Maintain a neutral lumbar spinal curve.

• Keep the object close to the body.

• Avoid twisting and bending.

• Avoid rapid, jerky movements.

• Maintain good balance by keeping the feet apart approximately shoulder width.

• Remember to breathe.

Other keys to a healthy back:

• Change positions frequently to avoid prolonged and awkward postures.

• Take time to think about your work tasks and determine if there is a better, safer of doing them with less risk.

• Warm up and stretch prior to heavy physical exertion.

• Regular exercise is the best to avoid problems with your back, and is the key to recovery from simple strains, aches and pains you might experience.

• If you do encounter back pain, maintain normal activity as much as possible, even when in pain, and avoid bed rest.



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