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Workplace Safety

Back Pain – how to reduce the risk

By November 3, 2014No Comments

Exercising regularly. Create a fitness culture in your company, maybe provide gym benefits. For back pain prevention, weight control, abdominal muscles and stretching are key.

Stop smoking. Smokeless workplaces have gained in popularity for environmental reasons, but an additional consequence is fewer back issues.

Take a break. Repetitive motion or long periods of idleness create back stress. Sitting for an hour or lifting for an hour can cause back pain. Bending and twisting should be avoided. Bend at the knees and pivot, don’t twist the back, particularly when lifting.

Take a break while driving too. A short walk awakens your mind and neutralizes the cumulative effect of road vibration on your body.

Proper posture. Whether driving, lifting, or completing repetitive tasks, use the proper posture to protect your back.

Safe Lifting. The lower back is particularly susceptible to injury and pain from poor lifting techniques.

* Lift with your legs. Squat and lift rather than bending forward and lifting.
* Proper posture means a straight upper back with a natural lower back arch.
* Test load weight. Push the load with your foot first. Do you need a helper?
* Lift close to your torso, waist level.
* Do not twist your back while carrying anything.
* Use devices like dollies, forklifts, or conveyors.

Back injuries occur in the morning more frequently. Stretch and start light. Get your back ready for more strenuous work.

Back injury prevention requires awareness, so train your employees properly. Those workers who will likely lift should do stretching exercises first.

Design your operation for lighter lifts. Create smaller loads of frequently purchased, used or stored. Don’t store heavy objects higher than the waist.

Pre-hire qualifying should include assessing the weight which can be safely lifted and carried by the individual. And, use a mandatory weight restriction for lifting for all employees.