Most of us forget the importance of our backs for the enjoyment of a normal, happy and successful life. However, the back contains one of the most critical muscle groups in the body, as well as the spinal cord and associated vertebrae and disks. Everyone working in the construction industry must lift materials to either put them into place or to move them from one location to another. Back injuries occur over time; a lot of small injuries lead up to the big one. It is, therefore, important to remember the key elements of proper lifting.
Preparing to Lift:
Do you need help? Get help if needed (more people, lift equipment).
Do you need to stretch before preparing to lift?
Determine the weight of the load.
Determine your ability to handle the load.
Wear safe shoes.
Wear gloves to protect your hands if the surface is rough.
Make sure you have a clear walkway.
Making the Lift:
Center the load between your legs or shoulders
Always bend with your legs.
Keep your back straight.
Lift with your legs (You can feel your leg muscles doing the work).
Keep the load close to your body. (Hug the object you are lifting.)
Moving the Load:
Keep your back as vertical as possible.
Keep the load close to you.
Don't twist your body! - move your feet
When lowering the load, bend with the knees and keep the back straight.
Remember to follow these rules of lifting and you will give your back a break rather than breaking your back.