Back injuries are one of the most common on-the-job injuries. But you work in an office at a computer. You don’t have to worry about hurting your back, right?
Wrong. Even if you are picking up fairly light objects occasionally, lifting can put great strain on your back. Lifting from the floor can be particularly risky. Did you know that lifting a 25-pound box from the floor requires about 700 pounds of force from your back muscles? And using improper lifting technique can result in injury at any time, even if you’re just picking an item from the floor. That’s why we wanted to share with you some tips from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for lifting items around the office safely:
Keep your back straight. Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only. Lift with your legs. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. The key to preventing injuries is to let your leg muscles, not your back muscles, do the work.
Slowly lift. Gradually raise your hips and your knees. Keep the item you’re lifting as close to your body as possible.
Don’t twist or turn your spine. This is one of the worst things you can do while you’re lifting or carrying a load.
Clear the way to your destination. Make sure you have a clear path while you’re carrying a load to avoid a fall. Never carry a box that blocks your ability to see ahead of you.