Lifting and carrying materials is a common occurrence in the workplace, however, many business owners fail to teach their employees the proper technique for handling this task. While this may not seem like a serious issue, more that 700 back injuries occur every day as a result of unsafe lifting practices.
While having the right workers compensation insurance will assist any employees that injure themselves in a workplace accident, you can prevent these incidents from happening in the first place. The best way to accomplish this is by teaching your employees how they can safely lift and carry loads.
Here’s what a safe lifting technique entails.
During the planning stage, you should assess the size of the load and ensure that you can safely carry it by yourself. If the load is too large or cumbersome, you should seek assistance. You should also scan the load for any hazards such as protruding nails, splinters, or rough edges. Next, you should ensure that your route is clear of any walking hazards or obstacles. Finally, you should don the appropriate safety gear such as gloves, safety shoes, a back belt, and so on.
After the planning stage, it’s time to execute the lift. Start by getting as close to the load as possible. Then firmly plant your feet shoulder-width apart so you can maintain your balance. Keep your back straight and your stomach muscles taunt as you bend at your knees and lift with your legs. Lift the load in a smooth motion, making sure not to twist your body. If you need to turn, use your feet to shift your body.
As you carry the load, hold it as close to your body as possible. Watch where you’re walking; you should never carry something so large that it obstructs your vision. As you carry your load, keep your back straight and your stomach muscles tensed. Take extra caution as you move up and down the stairs.
When lowering the load, it is again important that you keep your back straight and the load close to your body. You should squat, bending at your knees to bring the load down. Do not stretch or overreach when trying to set the load in position; simply set it down and then maneuver.
You should teach your employees to follow this technique to reduce the chances of someone suffering a serious back injury. Remember, having the right workers compensation insurance is always a good precaution to take. For assistance with your business’s insurance needs, contact the experts at Contractors Insurance Agency. Our dedicated team is ready to get you the coverage that you need today.