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Employee Safety

Safe Lifting

Your back allows you to sit, stand, walk, bend, lift, work, and play. Back injuries can cause pain, inconvenience, lost time, disability, and expense. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year. Most back injuries arise from a series of inappropriate lifts, pushes, pulls, or from staying in one position for a long period of time. These positions are typically with the back bent forward, or hyper extended. As of 2010, eight percent of all reported injuries among Alameda County employees were back injuries. Preventing back injuries is a major workplace safety challenge.

Preventing back injuries is easier than correcting them.

A healthy back is strong and flexible. It is properly aligned and supported by strong back and abdominal muscles. The back’s primary function is to protect your spinal cord, support your upper body, and allow flexibility.

Some keys to back injury prevention are:

  • Always Practice Safe Lifting Techniques
  • If it’s Too Heavy or Awkward – Get Help
  • Improve Your Posture, Get In Shape, Watch Your Weight
  • If working involves sitting for long periods of time, Get Up and Stretch
  • Utilize the Safety Resources below

Resources:

  • Safe Lifting Poster (PDF - 100kb)*
  • Online safe lifting course called “Back Injury Prevention” is available through Target Safety
  • Safe lifting training is available through the HRS Conference Center as part of the Office Ergonomics course. Please submit your request through your supervisor.
  • The Office Ergonomics course can also be presented at your Agency/Department. Please contact Alma Balmes, Risk Analyst / Safety Program Manager at 510-272-6698 or tie-line 2-6698.

* Portable Document Format (PDF) file requires the free Adobe Reader.

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