Weekly Tool Box Talk: Lifting Safely

Back pain is second only to the common cold on the reason why people go to the doctor.  Managing back pain is the most important step you can take to avoid lost workdays.The National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) has developed seven factors to mathematically evaluate stress while lifting.  The seven factors that influence lower back stress are:1.            Weight of Object:  This is obvious – if it’s above your company guidelines or your limits – get help or use mechanical assistance. 2.            Horizontal Position:  How far away is the load located from you? 3.            Travel Distance:  How far do you have to carry the load? 4.            Vertical Distance:  How high do I have to lift, or lower it? 5.            Body Rotation:  Do I rotate the waist while lifting? 6.            Frequency of Lifts:  How often do I need to lift the weight? 7.            Coupling:  How well are your hands grasping the load?  Think about these factors and look for ways to reduce them.  If you find yourself making repetitive lifts this week, think of these factors and look for ways to modify them.