Eighty percent of us will experience lower back pain at some point in our lives. In fact, lower back pain is one of the leading contributors to missed work and the most common cause of job-related disabilities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says acute back injuries suffered at work often result from improper lifting techniques and/or lifting and carrying something that’s too heavy. By knowing what to lift and how to safely lift it, you and your employees can reduce the risk of injury.

What your employees need to know

The most effective technique is to avoid lifting whenever possible. In many cases, equipment is available that can either fully automate or assist with lifting and handling demands. Examples include hand trucks, dollies, pallet jacks, and forklifts. Using this equipment helps take stress off the back and lessen the risk of injury.

However, there may be times when no other option exists, and your employees must lift objects manually. Ensuring your employees use the proper lifting technique helps reduce the amount of stress on each person’s back.