Lifting and your back
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Lifting and Your Back. Preventing Back Injury. Back Injury. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, low back pain:. Is the most common work-related medical problem in the U.S. Is the second most common reason for doctor visits among U.S. citizens

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Lifting and Your Back

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Lifting and your back

Lifting and Your Back

Preventing Back Injury


Back injury

Back Injury

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, low back pain:

  • Is the most common work-related medical problem in the U.S.

  • Is the second most common reason for doctor visits among U.S. citizens

  • Affects more than 20 million Americans

  • Is the leading cause of disability among people ages 19-45


Risk factors

Risk Factors

Many factors increase the risk for back problems:

  • Lifestyle choices - tobacco use, lack of regular exercise, and inadequate nutrition substantially contribute to poor disc health

  • Aging - natural biochemical changes cause discs to gradually dry out affecting disc strength and resiliency

  • Poor posture – long-term use of incorrect body mechanics stresses the lumbar spine and affects its normal ability to carry the bulk of the body's weight

  • Poor work habits and improper lifting!


Rules for lifting

Rules for Lifting

  • Never bend, lift, and twist at the same time

  • Use mechanical aids or assistance when possible

  • Bend your knees and use your legs to lift


Proper lifting

Proper Lifting

Plan the Lift

  • Before lifting, analyze what needs to be done

  • Think about how heavy the object is

    • How far does it have to be moved?

    • Where it is going to end up?

  • Consider the shape of the object

    • Is it cumbersome?

    • Is it easily manipulated?

    • Is it a two-person job?

  • Look at the path

    • Is there anything in the way that needs to be moved?


Proper lifting1

Proper Lifting

Position Your Body

  • Stand directly in front of the load

    • Feet about shoulder width apart

    • One foot in front of the other for balance

  • Bend your knees

  • Tighten the stomach muscles

  • Using both hands, grasp the object firmly

  • Pull it as close to your body as possible


Proper lifting2

Proper Lifting

Push Up with your Legs

  • Remember to lift primarily with your legs, not with your back

    • Since leg muscles are stronger than back muscles, push up with your legs, until straightened

    • Avoid jerky movements

    • Keep the natural curve in the spine

    • Don't bend at the waist

    • To turn, move the feet around by pivoting on the toes

    • Don’t twist at the stomach


Proper lifting3

Proper Lifting

Partner Up

  • If the load is too heavy, don’t try to lift it alone!

    • Find someone who can help

    • If possible, break the load into smaller, more manageable loads


Proper lifting4

Proper Lifting

  • When it is time to set the load down, reverse the procedure

    • If the load is going to set on the floor, bend the knees and position the load in front of you

    • If the load is to go at table height, set it down and keep in contact with the load until it is secure on the table.


Final thoughts

Final Thoughts

  • Think before you lift

  • Use common sense

  • Avoid risky behavior

    • Excessive Bending

    • Excessive Twisting

    • Excessive Reaching

    • Excessive Weights

  • Gently point out unsafe behaviors to others

  • Help others perform safe lifts


Lifting and your back

Thank you for your cooperation!


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