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Protecting Your Back, Part 2

Back pain is miserable and often debilitating. A little assessment upfront can prevent back pain later. Assess the following:

  • Is it an awkward size? Then unless it’s really light, ask someone to help you lift it.
  • If that light load is a big panel and you’re outdoors, it can act like a sail and the wind can add significant lateral force and thus strain on your back. Get help to lift and/or move this load, and be cautious about the wind.
  • If lifting outdoors, ensure you’re standing on something stable enough. Standing on wet grass on even a slight incline can mean a tumble or wrenching force on your back when a foot slips.
  • You don’t get wet grass indoors, but you do get oil, cable lube, and other slipping hazards. Tripping hazards are also a danger; clear away clutter and pick up the area. If you’re carrying the object then this goes not just for the initial lifting location but the entire path to its destination.
  • Lifting equipment, lifting technique, and attachment points. Your natural reaction when something slips off a lifting hook may be to reach out and grab it. This can result in injuries ranging from spinal disk rupture to the loss of some fingers. Inspect the entire lifting set-up, then step back and use the equipment.
  • Your ego. Are you lifting that load because it’s safe to do so, or because you have something to prove?

« Part 1 | Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection