Careful attention to lifting on the job and at home and regular exercise to
maintain fitness and strength will help you maintain a healthy back. The
following principles published from the Washington State Department of Labor
and Industries will assist in lowering your risk of back injury due to lifting.
1. Size up the load. Test it to see if you can lift it safely. Can you grasp it
securely? Good handholds (cut-outs, handles) will make the load easier to lift.
Make sure the load is balanced in your hands.
2. Get as close to the load as possible before lifting it, and keep it close
once you've lifted it. If possible, slide the load towards you before picking
3. Keep the load as close to your body as possible. If the load is large and
cannot be placed between your knees as they are bent, bend at the hips and
waist with your knees relaxed. It is more important to keep the load close than
it is to bend your knees.
One solution to lifting a larger load is to get another person to help you. A
better solution is to use mechanical assistance (hand trucks, carts) to avoid
4. Make sure your footing is secure. Do not lift objects that obscure vision
and footing. Plan ahead and make sure that your travel path is clear of
obstructions and that there are no slip hazards such as a wet floor.
5. Do not twist while lifting! Move your feet so that they point in the
direction of the lift as you turn.
6. Lift smoothly and slowly. Do not jerk the load.
7. Organize the work so as to avoid lifting from the floor or above shoulder
level. Items to be handled should be between knee and shoulder height.
8. If you have a lot of lifting to do during the day, try not to do it all at
once. Alternate lifting tasks with lighter work to give your body a chance to
recover. Remember, mechanical assistance is just as important for repetitive
lifting as it is for heavy lifting.
9. Use the same principles when lowering or placing the load after lifting.
10. Try to avoid carrying a load more than 10 feet without getting mechanical
assistance. Use a dolly or cart.
AplusA-online.de - Source: Washington State Department of Labor and Industries