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Back Safety

Back injuries account for nearly 20% of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace and cost the nation an estimated 20 to 50 billion dollars per year.

Knowing Your Back

  • Your spine consists of 24 interlocking bones with flexible joints called vertebrae.
  • Shock absorbing discs lie in between each pair of vertebrae.
  • A healthy spine is arranged in three natural curves that form an S-shape.
  • These natural curves keep your body balanced and support you when you move.
  • The curves also distribute your weight evenly throughout your spine, making back injuries less likely.

Preventing Back Pain

You can prevent some forms of back pain by strengthening your back with exercises, practicing good posture and avoiding standing or sitting for extended periods of time.

  • Lift objects safely - always lift from a squatting position, using your hips and your legs to do the heavy work.
  • Hold objects close to minimize their weight

Practice good body mechanics

  • Good body mechanics can help minimize the stress on your spine
  • Be aware of how you move whenever you move

Additional Information

For additional information on back safety please check out the following web sites:

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health back belts

www.cdc.gov/niosh/backbelt.html

Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, free training

www.free-training.com/osha/back/Backmenu.htm

Improving the health, safety, and productivity of our Federal employees.
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