boots on that lead to the injury, but an accumulation
of events over time.
These injuries can result in joint pain, muscle
strain, inflammation or a pinched nerve. In more
serious cases, injuries to your discs can occur.
There are some things you can do to take care of
your back and reduce the likelihood of injury:
Prior to doing physical work, warm up and
stretch to get your body moving. Focus on the
major muscle groups including your legs, arms,
back and shoulders. Even two to five minutes is
enough to get started.
Tips to prevent back injuries
• Use tools to do the work – When you need
to lift or transport a heavy object, use a cart,
dolly or forklift to move it – not your back!
If an object is particularly heavy, ask a coworker
• Work smart – Push materials rather than
lift or pull. Change the height of your work
to waist level to avoid bending down or
reaching. Move your materials close to your
work to avoid reaching.
• Change it up – Alternate tasks and reposition
your body so you aren’t repeating the
same motion or using an awkward posture.
Take rest breaks as fatigue can increase the
likelihood of injury.
• Stretch – Take time during your break to rest
• Slow down and let it go – Back injuries
can occur from rapid movements such as
slipping, rushing or reacting to sudden
movements. Make sure there is enough time
and space to complete a job, ensure floors
and walkways are clear and dry and avoid the
need to “catch” or stop a falling or shifting
load using your body.
• Think twice, lift once! Lifting while bending
and twisting is a common cause of back
injury. The graphic on the left provides some
safe lifting guidance.
Maintain good posture
We have all caught ourselves slouching or not
using good posture. It is important to maintain
your body’s natural, neutral posture to help take
pressure off your back. Here are some general
rules for good posture:
• Standing – Feet are about hip width apart and
weight evenly distributed on your feet. Avoid
putting your weight into your heels. Keep your
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