Gravity doesn’t work differently in the back office than it does in the warehouse. Bad lifting technique can lead to back injuries as easily among a set of cubicles as it can near a forklift. That’s why proper lifting is crucial, whether in the warehouse or in the office.
It’s an important topic. Government data show that back complaints represent a substantial portion of non-fatal workplace injuries each year. To avoid this, you need to know the right way to approach something heavy.
With this in mind, treat proper lifting as an important safety issue. Learn the right steps and think about the process. Here are some steps to take:
Take Stock of the Situation
Lifting something might seem like the simplest of activities. But it actually involves a lot of factors. The size, shape, and weight of the object all come into play.
Before you try to lift an object, make sure you understand what you’re getting into. Take a moment to assess the situation. This will help you protect yourself and get the job done efficiently and safely.
Here are a few tips to stay safe:
- Look at its shape: Review the object’s shape and size. By making this assessment, you’ll know how awkward it will be to carry.
- Give it a gentle kick: Try moving the object with your foot. This will give you an idea of its weight.
- Know where you’re going: Have a plan in place for how you’ll get the object where you want it to go. This includes plotting out your walking path and making sure you won’t run into any obstacles (like closed doors) along the way.
Use the Right Technique
Once you determine how you will approach a lift, use the proper technique. By applying your whole body to the task, you can avoid the risk of strain. Here are some specific tips to keep in mind.
- Use Your Knees: Engage the strong muscles in your legs to ease the lifting process and protect your back.
- Keep Your Back Straight: Don’t bend over. Keep your back straight as you lift.
- Use Your Whole Body: Engage your core as well as your legs. Get all your muscles involved, so no part of your body bears the brunt.
- Hold Object Close to Your Chest: This will help save your back as well, as the weight won’t pull you forward as much.
Don’t Overdo It
Remember: you don’t get paid extra for lifting something too heavy for you. This isn’t the Olympics. There’s no gold medal for the picking up the most boxes of copier paper at once.
On the contrary, overexerting yourself while lifting something in the office can lead to serious problems. You could open the door to a painful injury and even derail your career.
Instead, consider possible work-arounds to prevent you from having to strain yourself to move something heavy.
- Find someone to help
- Break the task into multiple trips
- Find a tool, like a dolly or cart
Seek Out the Safest Employers
Safety should be priority #1 for any employer. As you look for the right career fit, seek out companies that will keep you healthy and safe.
This process gets easier when you partner with the right staffing agency, like LaborMAX. You’ll always know where your employer stands on safety issues.
Asking yourself, “what’s the best labor agency near me?” The answer is LaborMAX Staffing.
Contact us today to locate the perfect placements for your skills and background.