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June 20, 2017

Back Safety Tips for the Pest Management Professional

Causes of Back Pain

Your back is a complicated piece of machinery, capable of supporting your body weight, flexing to allow movement, and houses the nerve cord – the main information highway for your body.

The best cure for back pain is prevention

Injuring your back can affect all the normal functions it performs daily. The best cure for back pain is prevention, and prevention comes from maintaining a healthy back. Exercising regularly will strengthen your back and decrease your chances of back pain and injury.

Common causes of back pain:

  • Incorrect lifting
  • Poor physical condition
  • Trauma
  • Aging
  • Stress/Tension
  • Disease

Proper Lifting Steps

Of the primary causes of back pain, lifting safely is one of the few you can control. There are a series of steps to go through before and during the lifting process to ensure your safety and comfort when lifting and carrying a heavy load.

  • INSPECT THE LOAD- Before lifting or carrying the load, take a minute to evaluate the situation. How heavy is the load? How far will you need to carry it? Is the pathway you will be using clear of obstacles? Will doors need to be opened/closed? Does the load impair your vision? Can the load be broken down into smaller loads?
  • DECIDE IF YOU ARE CAPABLE OF CARRYING THE LOAD- Pick up a portion or corner. Is it too heavy? If it is, don’t carry it by yourself. Get help. Never carry anything unless you are sure you can carry it safety.
  • LIFT PROPERLY- Always lift with your legs; NEVER lift with your back. Get as close as you can and get yourself stable. Squat down with your body weight centered over your feet. Get a secure grip on the load and smoothly and slowly lift. Keep your head up while lifting. Never lift anything over your head.
  • CARRY THE LIFT PROPERLY- Never twist your body to change directions, but rather use your feet and legs to change directions. Walk slowly and steady. Avoid leaning over. If you need to, stop and rest.
  • SETTING THE LOAD DOWN- Stand where you want to put the load down and squat down. Use your legs rather than your back. Never twist your body. Know where your hands and feet are before letting the load go to avoid dropping it.
  • WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER- If appropriate, use a dolly, cart, or other wheeled item to carry the load for you. Secure the load so it doesn’t tip or fall. Avoid stairs or inclines when using dollies and carts.

Preventing downtime is the goal for everyone. Using these basic daily habits can prevent back injuries both on and off the job.



Tag(s): Safety , CSI-Pest

Janis Reed, Ph.D., BCE

Director Product Development & Regulatory

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