Each year, injuries caused by manual materials handling are a significant cost
to industry in terms of medical costs and lost productivity. An article in the
recent issue of Occupational Health & Safety highlights ways to prevent these
costly injuries from occurring.
Three components of an overall preventative strategy are discussed: job hazard
analysis, stretching and safe lifting techniques.
- A job hazard analysis is warranted if there are two or more injuries
recorded on the OSHA 300 Log. There are many useful documents that can assist
you in this analysis. An analysis can guide task redesign if it is required.
- Proper stretching -- which should include the shoulders, lower back, sides,
quadriceps and hamstrings -- also goes a long way toward preventing injury.
- The final component, safe lifting techniques, involves a number of steps,
such as facing the load; using the thigh muscles, not the back; and keeping the
product close to the body, among others.
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