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Back To Safety Programs            Home

 

Lifting

Now where are those stairs?

Preventing Motion Injuries”

Taking the time to think about everyday tasks and their effects on our bodies is a good way to prevent injuries.

The following scenarios will demonstrate how inadequate planning leads to pain and disability, affecting on- and off-the job activities.

At the breakfast table you rush to clean everything up before going to work.

You stretch awkwardly across the table to lift your infant baby out of the highchair.

Half standing, you start to lift your baby, but then stop, reacting to a sharp pain in your back.

Instead of using your leg muscles to lift, you used your back muscles and are consequently suffering back pain.

In the warehouse, you notice some boxes on the floor. These boxes are in the way of pedestrian traffic and so you proceed to move them. You know that the boxes could be heavy but you do not want to bother anyone to help you.You bend over at the waist to lift one box but have to stop because the load is too heavy and you feel a sudden pain in your back.

As a result, you strain your back muscle -- an injury that may keep you off the job for several days.

Throughout the day, you perform the same set of lifting and twisting motions with your arms. You begin to experience pain in your forearms and sometimes it aches so much that you can't sleep. The repetitive nature of your work has stressed your arm tendons, muscles and nerves.

What could have been done to avoid the motion injuries mentioned above?

You could have thought about the task at hand and applied the Take Two principle (Talk, Actions, Knowledge, Equipment) checklist:

Talk to your supervisor about how to perform the job safely. Think about how your actions will affect safety. Know the right rules and procedures for the job. Use the proper equipment and keep it in good condition.

Keeping the above scenarios in mind, ask yourselves
and your co-workers these questions:

1. Do we always think carefully about posture and proper techniques when lifting?

2. Why do we sometimes ignore our body and safety?

a. Busy work schedule b. Think that "it won't happen to me." c. Lack of knowledge

d. Under stress

3. What is the procedure for lifting safely?

a. Make sure you are close to the object and are not bending over to lift

b. Keep back straight and use leg muscles to lift

c. Don't twist or stretch excessively.

4. How can we help prevent repetitive motion injuries?

a. Take breaks to stretch and relax

b. Rotate work stations; change positions

Following are some basic rules applied while performing a physical lifting task on board ship:
•Always warm up your body before lifting any kind of load involving stretching of muscular parts.
•Check the size and weight of the load. If it’s out of your strength call for help and never lift alone.
•Check the surroundings and course from which the load to be carried and transferred for any hurdles and skidding surface.
•On a level floor and take firm stance to place your legs apart from each other with one leg behind the other.
•Sit with knees bend to lift the load.
•Wrap one entire arm over the object and other in appropriate position to lift the load.
•Keep you back straight nearly vertical and chin tuck inside.
•Be as much close to the load and Start lifting the load with your foot and knees. Do not use your back for this task.
•Lift the load smoothly and slowly and avoid sudden and jerky motion.



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