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Safe lifting

October 1st, 2008 / By: / Safety & Codes

As we head into the cooler months, many tent rental companies will begin projects that they’ve neglected during the busy season. Cleaning, repairing, reorganizing and clearing out warehouse space are common off-season activities. At a time when your best employees might be tasked with heavy hauling around the warehouse, it’s important to recognize the need for safe lifting to protect their backs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year. Back injuries can be difficult to recover from, and employees who have had one back injury are more likely to experience another back injury at some point during their lifetime.

Avoid back injury by following precautions (see Safe lifting, at right), reducing the weight of the load, adding handles or straps to the load, and getting help for something that is too heavy or is too awkward.

Employees who are aware of their own limitations and their body position are less likely to suffer a back injury. Advise employees to stretch before lifting and to slow down and rest their backs briefly during longer periods of heavy, repetitive lifting. Heavy lifting should never be a competition among employees. Encourage your employees to practice safe lifting so they will be in prime form for the next busy season.

SOURCES Oklahoma State University’s Environmental Health and Safety Training (ehs.okstate.edu/Training.htm); UCLA Ergonomics (www.ergonomics.ucla.edu)

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