Preventing Back Injuries Over the Holidays

A UPS delivery worker rushing to get everyone’s gifts delivered on time or Dad picking up that heavy box of decorations from the back of the basement closet every year have one thing in common – if they aren’t careful, both can seriously injure their back.

Back injuries at work and at home are common – even more so when we’re busy in December. It’s easy to forget simple practices to protect your back when your mind is stressed about getting your deliveries done on time or going over your “to do” list for Christmas. These injuries are often associated with awkward postures due to the location of the package from the body, twisting during the lift, the weight and size of the object, the speed of the lift, the duration of lifting activity and extreme temperatures.

Stay mindful when lifting heavy objects! Don’t let a back-injury ruin turkey dinner or playing with the grandchildren outside. Here’s some lifting tips from all of us at EWI:

  • If the object is bulky or oversized, keep a wide stance and maintain an “S” shaped curve in the spine.
  • Standing as close to the object as possible, bend at the knees and pull the object close to the body. Maintain the “s” curve in the spine. (see picture below)
  • Keeping the object close to the body, lift using the legs. Do not straighten the legs and lift with a flat back.
  • Do not twist the body to place the object beside or behind you. Rather, turn the body by pivoting the feet until your body is facing the surface that you wish to place the object.
  • Always try to use two hands when lifting an object.
  • If you are lifting items from a vehicle, always try to pull it in close to the body before lifting.

From EWI Works’ online Industrial Ergonomics training course

EWI Works would like to see everyone enjoy this Holiday Season. Whether helping Uncle Bob pick up that brand new 60 inch color flat screen TV from Best Buy or lifting a 20lb turkey, stay safe, stay healthy and enjoy spending time with the family!

Wishing all of you a joyful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year from EWI Works!