How to Prevent Back Injuries at Work
Do you suffer from back pain? Do you want to avoid back injuries?
Here are some tips to help you avoid and prevent back injuries in the workplace.
Table of Contents
1. Lift Wisely
If you’ve got to lift heavy objects at work, then it’s important to do so wisely. Warm up and stretch your muscles beforehand if possible.
Let your arms and legs do most of the work rather than forcing your back to support the weight. Bend at the knees, rather than bending your spine, and avoid moving with quick or jerky movements. Smooth, fluid actions are much safer, and it’s best to go slow rather than hurrying yourself.
If you can, carry the object between waist and shoulder level. Holding things at this level helps you keep strain off of your back and shoulders. Avoid twisting around while you’re holding something heavy, and try to keep your shoulders and hips aligned.
2. Test Before Committing
Lifting is one of the main low back pain causes. Before you grab a hefty object, take a moment to make sure you’ll be able to handle the task.
Do you know how heavy the object is? Don’t assume–this is one area where surprises aren’t welcome.
Check to ensure that you’ll be able to safely grip the load, that it’s balanced well, and that you know where you’ll be able to set it down. If you have to carry the object somewhere else, make sure you know where to go and double-check to see that your path is clear and free of any tripping hazards.
3. Use Equipment Properly
Taking advantage of the equipment available is important. Take the time to get a dolley or forklift when something is too large or too heavy for you to manage manually. If these tools aren’t available, find another person (or multiple people) to help you out.
If you have to lift something off of or onto a high shelf, use a ladder. Arching your back or lifting something heavy above your head is not wise, and can easily lead to injuries in your back or shoulders. Upper back pain causes many problems, so do your best to avoid this.
4. Wear Supportive Shoes
Causes of back pain sometimes include poor footwear choices. If you’re going to be standing or walking, make sure you’ve got shoes which are suitable for your activities.
Sandals and flip-flops don’t offer much in the way of support, so they aren’t good choices. High heels are also bad for your back, and shouldn’t be worn any longer than is necessary. Shoes with heels less than an inch and a half are best, and they should also have support and shock absorption to help keep your back from pain.
5. Watch Your Posture
Whether you’re standing or sitting at work, it’s important to have good posture. Balance your weight evenly when standing, and don’t slouch.
Do you experience back pain when sitting? This can be caused by an uneven surface, so if you’re sitting down for an extended amount of time you should empty your back pockets. Find a chair which supports your back, and adjust it so that your feet can rest flat on the floor.
6. Stay Healthy
Obesity, illness, and a poor physical condition are all elements which can contribute to back pain as well as make you far more susceptible to injury. Eat a diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D to help keep your bones from becoming weak and brittle. Exercises that increase your balance and stability, as well as exercises which increase your strength, are helpful as well.
Smoking can contribute to back pain, so quitting can help. Constant coughing can lead to back pain, and the habit also reduces blood flow to your lower back. This can cause injuries to heal more slowly.
Following these tips won’t guarantee a lack of injury, but they can greatly reduce your risk. Taking care of your body and being wise while working is important.
See Also: Five Simple Ways To Beat Low Back Pain
If your workplace prevents you from exercising proper caution and you get injured, it’s wise to seek the help and advice of injury compensation lawyers. You shouldn’t have to suffer due to the carelessness of others.