April 2010 Safety Topic: Preventing Back Aches and Pains while at WorkMarch 26th, 2010 by
In our line of business back aches and pains can make it very difficult to concentrate while at work. Our jobs can put significant demands on our backs throughout the day. Can you avoid back pain and injuries at work? The answer is “YES” if you understand what causes these injuries and how to prevent them.
If you ask a doctor what causes back pain they are never 100% sure. They will ask what you do throughout your day and family history and generally will tell you that a combination of the things you do throughout your day and your history may be a cause of your back aches and pains. Not all of these factors are preventable.
What factors are preventable?
The factors that we can control are the weight of objects we are lifting. We are in control of our own fitness routines and flexibility. If we change our lifestyle and incorporate some stretching and exercise we will strengthen our back and help reduce work related injuries.
While at work you will need to look at what you do and you will need to see if you need to modify your work performance to help reduce these risks.
There are 4 factors that can increase your risk of back aches and injuries.
Force- Are you over-exerting yourself?
Repetition- How many times during your day do you do the same thing over and over? Repetition can lead to fatigue in your muscles which can lead to injuries.
Posture- This refers to how are standing, sitting or performing a task.
Stress- Your stress level at work or home can lead to muscle tension and tightness which can result in back aches and pains.
A combination of one or more these four risks can result in serious back injuries.
To help reduce Back Aches and Pains you should first be fit. You can do specific strengthening and stretching exercises that target you back muscles. By doing this you will strengthen your cores muscles and make your back stronger. Strong and flexible muscles will help keep your back in shape.
Secondly, you want to pay attention to your posture. If you have poor posture you will put stress on your back. So pay attention to how you are standing and sitting while at work and at home.
Finally, you want to make sure that you are lifting properly. You want to make sure that you are following the lifting procedures that are outlined in our Job Safety Agreement. Always remember to let your legs do the work and keep all items close to your body.
By adjusting what you do at work and adopting healthy habits you can reduce back aches and pains and you will feel better over all.
Before you lift an object remember to plan your moves and listen to your body. If your body tells you that an object is too heavy, do not lift it, ask for help.
Be Safe and Be Healthy!!!!