Preventing Back Injury - Accident Work-Related Back Pain: Develops Gradually Over Time Common...
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Preventing Back Injury
u Back Injury Statistics
u Low Back Pain
u Repetitive Motion Injury
u Preventing Back Injury
u Manual Material Handling Guidelines
u Back Exercises
u Avoiding Slips
u Video Display Terminals — Common Complaints
u 2% of all employees have a compensable back injury each year
u 29 days lost per 100 workers per year
u 21% of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace
u 33% of workers compensation payments and medical cost each year
u Overexertion — most common cause
Low Back Pain
u 10 – 17% of adults have a back pain episode each year
u 2nd most common cause for physician visits
u 5th ranking reason for hospitalization
u 3rd ranking reason for surgical procedures (250,000 lumbar spine operations per year)
u Most common cause for decrease in work capacity (25 – 44 years old)
What is Repetitive Motion Injury?
u Repetitive motion injury involves muscles and tissues connecting bones (tendons and ligaments).
The causes of Repetitive Motion Injuries:
Posture: Awkward posture for a long period of time.
Force: Excessive force overloading muscles and tendons.
Repetition: Use of the same muscles and joints over and over again while doing a repetitive task.
Manual Material Handling: Lifting, loading and carrying.
Workstation Design: Bending, over-reaching.
Equipment and Tools: Vibration, grip force.
Environment: Heat, noise, lighting.
Fixed or Awkward Body Positions
u When maintained for long periods of time, fixed or awkward body positions can cause discomfort and fatigue.
Awkward Body Position:
u Working with the torso bent forward, backward or twisted
u Fixed position of the neck and shoulders when performing controlled arm movements
u Reaching above shoulder height
Injuries that result from a single accident do not cause Repetitive Motion Injuries.
How Repetitive Motion Injury Affects the Body
u Bone and muscle joint injury
u Muscle injury
u Tendon injury
u Nerve injury
Back Injury Work-Related Causes:
u Poor workplace design
u Poor body posture
u Lifting and handling heavy loads
u Forceful exertion, bending, twisting
u Working in a stooped position
u Prolonged sitting in a fixed position
u Poor physical fitness
Work-Related Back Pain: Develops Gradually Over Time
u Feeling of tight band across the lower back
u Pain while working in a bent position
u Difficulty in straightening the back when standing
u Pain and stiffness when getting up in the morning or when sitting or standing for long periods
Load arm 30″
Load = 20 lbs. 100 lbs.
Force ratio 20: F
Power arm 5 cm = 2″
F × 2 = 20 × 30 + 100 × 16
F = 600 + 1,600 2
F = 2,200 2
F = 1,100 lbs.
Preventing Back Injury
Posture: Use good body posture by maintaining the body’s three natural curves.
Lifting: Lift by holding the load close to the body.
u Store heavy materials at waist height
u Do not bend over at the waist to try to lift the entire load all at once
u Do lift the load upright
u Put one knee against the load while in a squatting position
u Pull the load up the leg while in a squatting position
u Rest the load on the edge of the knee of the other leg while still in a squatting position
u Carry the load with your back in an upright position
u Stand upright
Lifting Guidelines (continued)
u Do not overstretch yourself. Reach only as high as it is comfortable for you.
u Use a stool or ladder if you need it.
u When reaching down, support your body with one arm.
Standing Working Position
u Keep your knees slightly bent with the pelvis tilted forward
u Place one foot on a lower stool to balance body
u Bending safely means kneeling down on one knee, not bending at the waist
u Bend your hips and knees — not your back
u When reaching forward, move your whole body, not just your arms
u Adjust the chair height so that thighs are in a horizontal position and the feet rest on the floor
u Maintain a straight posture
u Chair and desk are positioned to place work at elbow height
Manual Material Handling Guidelines
u Reduce the weight and size of the load by repacking.
u Assign more people to lift extra-heavy or awkward loads.
u Change the load’s size and shape to move the center of gravity closer to the lifter.
u Store the load at or above hip height, but below shoulder height.
u Use mechanical devices to move a load.
u Use the stronger parts of the body to carry the load.
u Load pallets so that the heavy loads are around the edges of the pallet, not in the center.
u Review the layout of the work area, looking for ways to reduce the distance a load is carried.
u Reduce the number of lifts by assigning more people to the lift, using mechanical devices, or rearranging the work area or storage area.
u Reduce body twisting by keeping the loads in front of the body, allowing enough space for the whole body to turn. Turn by moving the feet and not twisting any part of the body.
u Do not swing or throw heavy loads.
u Do not carry loads for long distances.
u Do not shift a heavy load at arm’s length.
u Take time to plan the lift and carry by checking your entire walkway, ensuring it provides solid footing. Check the shoes you are wearing — do they give you good support, traction, and balance? Are the shoestrings tied?
u Remove any movable obstacles out of the pathway; know where the unmovable ones are located.
u Perform a prelift by hefting the object to check its weight and center of gravity. Remember to keep the load’s center of gravity close to the lifter.
u Square up facing the load, and get as close as possible.
u With feet slightly apart, balance yourself.
u Bending at the knees, keeping your back as straight and upright as possible, squat down near the load.
u Firmly grip the object.
u Tighten the body’s abdominal muscles.
u Keeping your back straight, use the upper leg muscles to carry you to an upright position.
u Perform the lift smoothly.
Carrying and Lowering the Lift
u Hold the load close to the body, and carry the object with a firm grip
u Lowering the load, keep the back straight
u Tighten the body’s abdominal muscles
u Bend at the knees
u Store heavy objects approximately waist high
Using a Pushcart
u Pushing a load is easier than pulling the load on the back
u Stay close to the load while pushing it
u Use both hands to perform the push
u Do not lean over the load as you push
u Tighten the abdominal muscles
Pulling the Load as a Last Resort
u Squarely face the load, with at least 12 inches between you and the front of the load
u Keep the back straight
u Bend the knees slightly
u Pull with a smooth motion
Lifting Alternatives (continued)
Use the following motions for moving heavy or bulky materials such as:
u salt bags
u patio stones
u sidewalk slabs
u cement blocks
â Pull material toward you.
â Transfer your weight to the lift side.
â Lift only to the level required.
â Shift weight to your other leg.
â Push material into position.
u Maintain a solid balance and grip
u As the lift is performed, tighten the abdomen muscles
u Keep the shovel close to the body
u Bend your knees — not the back
u Use the strength of your upper leg muscles to reposition you upright
u Keep the bottom hand low and toward the shovel blade. Using this position, the load that is picked up by the shovel will be carried by the shoulders and arms, and not the back.
When performing any exercise follow these basic steps:
u Continue to breathe normally
u Stretch only to a comfortable point
u Stop if pain occurs
u Stand with your knees bent, feet shoulder width apart, and heels flat on the floor
u Squat as low as your muscles permit; feel the hip stretch
u Hold this position for five seconds and repeat the process three times