Proper Lifting To Prevent Back Injuries

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Many of us have had a back injury. Here are some key points.

  • Improper lifting can cause serious back injuries.
  • Don’t lift if you’re in poor physical shape.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Bend your knees. Don’t bend from your waist.
  • Ask for help if you need it.

What causes serious back injuries?

As you know, back injuries can be very painful. One cause of serious back injuries is improper lifting. Here are some examples of improper lifting:

What is the proper way to lift?

Make sure you can see your pathLift with knees. Do not bend at the waist

  • Size up the object you’ll be lifting. Stand close to the object. Check for sharp edges, nails and other hazards. See if you think you can lift it by yourself. If not, ask for help.
  • Plan ahead where you’re going to move the object. Make sure the path from its current location to its final destination is clear and free of hazards.
  • Get a firm footing. Check your shoes to make sure they provide good traction and that your shoelaces are tied. Part your feet to give you good balance. Then put one foot slightly in front of the other.
  • Get in position. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees to lower yourself within reach of the object. Do NOT bend at the waist.
  • Get a good grip. Use both hands. Grip gloves are very helpful.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back. Stand up by straightening your legs. Remember, your back should remain straight, and you should not bend at the waist. Carry the object to its new location, keeping it close to your body. Don’t bounce it around.
  • Bend your knees to set the object down. Again, be sure to keep your back straight, and do not bend at the waist.

Proper Lifting Do’s and Don’ts


  • Get a firm footing and a good grip.
  • Wear shoes with good traction.
  • Lift objects only chest high.
  • Take your time.
  • Ask for help if you need it.
  • Bend from the waist.
  • Lift objects higher than chest high.
  • Reach below your feet to pick up an object.
  • Twist your body while you’re lifting.
  • Lift an object you can’t handle alone.

When you’re ready to work safely, you’re ready to work. See our full line of safety supplies, including respirators, eye and ear protection, coveralls, first aid and more.

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