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Protecting your back is not an Optional Strategy at work in your safety program

Mental Safety NOTE — Daily Stretching Program.  At the beginning of each shift, all staff, trades, and contractors should be led by a supervisor through a range of motions that warm up their muscles and bodies and in absolute truth it helps REDUCEand PREVENT worksite back injuries. Lower back strain is caused by damage to themuscles and ligaments of the back. Learn about muscle anatomy and the symptoms of lower back strain. A muscle strain or a muscle sprain in the back is the most common cause of back pain. Back strains and sprains are the most common workplace injury in North America. There are many causes of back strains and sprains, the most common is bending to lift or pull heavy objects. Back injuries can result in significant pain and the inability to perform your job. While many back injuries are only minor muscular strains, back injuries can cause bulging disks, a herniated disk, nerve root impingement, or fractures to vertebrae. The treatment for a back injury can range from medication or physical therapy to back surgery that can require months to heal. Often times a back injury can result in permanent impairment


Preventative Measures

  1. Get physical activity daily. This will help you to stretch out your back muscles and loosen them up. It will also help you keep your weight down, putting less stress on your back throughout the day.
  2. Lift with your legs, not your back. When you lift with your back, your chances of getting injured increase. When lifting heavy items, keep them close to your body. Also, try not to twist or bend while holding anything heavy.
  3. Work on your posture, especially if you have an office job. Keep your feet planted firmly on the floor and your back supported. Don’t keep anything in your back pockets while you are sitting in a chair; this will make your weight distribution uneven.
  4. Avoid doing tasks with repetitive body movements. Try to alternate tasks that are hard on your body with tasks that give your back a break. Also, take a few minutes every hour to shake out your limbs and stretch your back.


One of the huge and recognized benefits of stretching is that you’re able to increase your range of motion, which means your limbs and joints can move further before an injury occurs and can incur a greater amount of muscle stress. Post-exercise stretching can also aid in workout recovery, decrease muscle soreness, and ensure that your muscles and tendons are in good working order. The more conditioned a worker’s muscles and tendons are, the better they can handle the rigors of work and exercise, and the less likely that they’ll become injured.

  • As you move at work you Pushing & Pulling Whenever possible, try to push loads rather than pull them toward you. When you pull objects, you’re putting your arms in an unnatural position. This increases the odds that you’ll get hurt because you can easily over exert yourself when pulling.

    Stop Being so One-Sided Carrying objects on one side of your body is a habit that can lead to nasty results. By having an uneven weight distribution, you’re forcing the muscles on one side of your body to do all the work.

  • Twist & Shout If you need to move your body while carrying a load, use your feet to pivot. When you twist with your back, you run the risk of putting it in an unnatural position.

    If you’ve got a load that is too heavy or has an awkward weight distribution, ask a co-worker to give you hand. Taking the time to do will reduce your risk of injuring yourself. NOTE TO THE READER According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, back belts can give the wearer a false sense of support and mislead the you into thinking that you can handle a heavier load. The only way we can safely decrease the rate of getting hurt is to follow the rules when it comes to lifting mechanics.

Terry Penney

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