How much are back injuries costing your company? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over a million workers suffer from back injuries in any given year and cost U.S. companies billions of dollars. Protect your company’s future by taking steps to prevent back strain, pains, and aches. What small changes make a big difference?
Explore Alternatives to Manual Lifting
Regular manual lifting dramatically increases the likelihood of repetitive strain injuries and even sudden impact injuries. The following products, equipment, and mechanical aids promote occupational safety:
- Forklifts, swivel casters, platforms, and leveling feet. Lifting heavy or awkward objects can result in permanent – and sometimes life-altering – back injuries. Whenever possible, encourage workers to use equipment and tools to help lift large-scale machinery and equipment. Leveling feet, for example, enable workers to slowly and safely raise equipment for routine maintenance and inspections. Leveling feet also stabilize equipment on uneven flooring, reducing the likelihood of serious accident and sudden impact injuries.
- Industrial handles and cinch straps. Lifting and handling equipment, however, may still pose risks. Ensure that workers can safely maneuver equipment and parts using industrial handles and t knobs. Industrial handles give workers a secure grip on otherwise awkward parts. Cinch straps fasten loads on platforms, further preventing injury.
- Conveyor belts and pneumatic lifts. Automated mechanical aids leave little room for improper lifting and unnecessary back strain. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly one-third of work-related injuries “could be prevented through better job design.”
Train Employees to Lift Properly
In some environments, manual lifting may be unavoidable. If that’s the case, employers can promote worker safety by revisiting important training programs. Employers should encourage employees to stretch before lifting. Stretching specific groups of muscles curbs risks of back injuries. Finally, employers can train employees to lift properly – and without putting undue strain and pressure on back muscles.
Back injuries leave many employees unable to work, and cost companies a considerable amount of money. Keep workers safe using handling and lifting equipment and promoting safe and proper manual lifting techniques.