The back provides a great deal of support and strength for the upper body. Although it is quite strong, it can be injured if it is twisted or pulled too far. Once injured, the back becomes forever weakened, giving increased potential to future injuries. One of the best ways to protect the back is to practice proper lifting techniques all the time and to use material handling devices, such as hand trucks, whenever possible. Here are some more tips.
Common Improper Ways of Lifting
Many people lift loads improperly for years. The most common example of poor technique is curving the back when reaching for the load. Others keep their backs straight while bending at the hips, which puts a great deal of strain on the back as it straightens. In addition, twisting the body while lifting can cause muscle strains and tears. Some injuries occur simply because individuals lift more weight than they should rather than using the proper equipment, such as dollies.
Proper Body Mechanics for Lifting
When you must lift something, you should begin with your feet in a wide stance for support and balance. You should bend only at the hips and knees as you crouch down to reach the load; the back should remain straight. While keeping your body as close to the load as possible, you should grasp the load diagonally with both hands and gradually raise the body. You should never twist your back while lifting or carrying loads.
Good lifting techniques are vital whether you are lifting something light or heavy because the vertebrae can be injured from awkward back positions. No matter the load, lifting must occur with the knees rather than with the back or the hips. An alternative is using a hand dolly to scoop up boxes or loads from the floor to transport from one area to area. When used with good body mechanics, a dolly reduces strain on the muscles and joints of the back and arms by doing the work of lifting for you.
Some loads are too heavy or bulky for one person to carry. A two-person lift may be employed to decrease the weight if mechanical devices are unavailable. For extremely heavy loads, material handling devices must be used to protect the back. Dollies and hand trucks are essential for everyday lifting needs in commercial settings.
For more information on safety or equipment that will protect your back, contact Neff Rental. Or call us at 888-709-6333. We are ready to assist you with your equipment needs.