Back injuries at work are common, and many are preventable. Employees can get injured by activities they carry out on the job, as well as by a lack of physical activity. Here are some tips to keep your workers safe.
How Back Injuries Can Occur in the Workplace
Often, injuries happen when an employee lifts or carries a heavy object incorrectly. Workplace back injuries can also be caused by repeatedly lifting objects (even light ones), bending, and twisting the back.
Sitting in one position for too long is another common source of back injuries. Staying seated for a long period of time can cause muscles to stiffen. Sitting with poor posture can make things even worse.
Ways to Protect Employees from Back Injuries
If your workers need to lift objects on a regular basis, provide training so they know how to do it safely. When employees have to lift objects, they should first figure out if they can do so safely.
In some cases, it’s best to ask another person to help or to use a dolly, a forklift, or another type of equipment. Encourage employees to work in teams or to use equipment when necessary so that no one gets hurt.
Teach workers how to lift heavy objects safely. That means holding the object close to the body and lifting it with the legs, not with the back.
Consider providing back supports and other ergonomic equipment to prevent back injuries in workers who have to lift heavy objects or perform repetitive movements. It may also be helpful to modify some tasks or to limit the amount of time that workers spend on a particular task before taking a break.
Discuss the dangers of sitting for too long and encourage workers with desk jobs to get up and move around frequently. Make sure that computer screens are positioned so they sit at eye level. That can prevent employees from having to turn or lean at an uncomfortable angle to work. Consider creating an official policy regarding breaks or purchasing ergonomic chairs or standing desks to prevent back injuries.
Emphasize Safety and Wellness
Maintaining good overall health can help prevent workplace injuries and reduce recovery times if injuries do occur. Encourage workers to use personal protective equipment when appropriate and to take breaks so they can move around and stretch. Promote a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious eating and regular exercise.
Order Personal Protective Equipment for Your Workers
1st Aid Supplies offers ergonomic equipment, such as back supports, that can prevent workplace injuries. We also sell workplace safety signs that can remind employees to wear PPE and to take other precautions. Order supplies today to protect your workers from back injuries.