Work Safe

Safe Lifting

Improper lifting can lead to a variety of injuries and health-related problems—both now and down the road. Lifting loads that are too heavy can cause strains or injury from dropping. Continuous, repetitive lifting without proper form or support can cause muscles and joints to degenerate over time. Poor lifting habits impact your body in a number of ways with some of the most common injuries occurring in the shoulders and back.

Shoulder injuries
Shoulders have the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. Unfortunately, the ability to assume so many positions also makes shoulders vulnerable to strains, separation, tendinitis, tears, and more. Here are just some of the activities that can lead to shoulder injury:

  • Hard repetitive use
  • Repetitive overhead reaching or lifting
  • Repetitive overhead heavy lifting
  • Falling on an outstretched arm
  • Pulling or yanking on an object
  • Blow to the top of the shoulder

Back and spine injuries
The spine is among the most commonly injured parts of the body. After an initial strain or sprain, the back becomes more susceptible to injury. Over time, repeated abuse to the spine causes painful degeneration of the spinal bones, discs, tendons and cartilage. Here are just some of the activities that can cause back and spine injuries:

  • Repetitive lifting
  • Twisting while lifting, instead of turning on your feet
  • Falling while carrying a load
  • Slipping while carrying a load
  • Losing grip, causing the load to shift
  • Carrying bulky objects, with arms outstretched
  • Carrying objects that are too heavy
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Climbing stairs while carrying objects
  • Using the spine to do the lifting instead of your legs

Do you have questions about how Missouri Employers Mutual or the WorkSAFE Center can help your workplace? Contact us today to learn more about our resources and custom safety training.

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