Of all job-connected injury claims, low back strain due to lifting are the most troublesome, and often the most costly. Supervisors and job foremen must exert every effort to eliminate this type of claim if their loss ratio on personal injury cases is to be low.
In order to avoid injuries to the lower back due to improper lifting and straining several safety habits must be enforced. They are:
The object to be lifted should first be sized up. There is nothing wrong is seeking assistance if it is heavy or unwieldy. Feet must be placed closed to the object and a firm footing secured. Then knees should be bent; back kept straight. A good, firm grip must be obtained and the lift started by pushing up with the leg muscles and utilizing thigh muscles rather than spinal muscles. It is important that the object being lifted be kept close to the body. As the weight is being moved, avoid twisting the body. If direction has to be changed, first move the position of the feet. Do not lift the object above shoulder level.
Putting it down is also important. Put it down safely by reversing the steps. Make sure hands are not caught under the object or fingers pinched when it is lowered. To avoid low back strains from lifting, employees must be told how the job is to be done. Show them the right way to do it. Observe them at their work; and insist that established rules are to be followed.
Falling accidents injure and kill people in this country than any other type of accident next to traffic accidents. Most can be prevented. One of the sure ways to prevent falls is to have adequate lighting in business establishments, factories, plants, and homes. There must be illumination for every vestibule and entrance hall, stair, fire stair and fire tower, on every floor. Such lights must be kept burning between sunset and sunrise. Where there is now window opening to the outer air, lights must be kept burning continuously. Entranceways must be properly lit; as must all yards and court ways.
All places of business, including plants, restaurants, theatres, workshops, must have proper illumination for both day and night. Special attention must be paid to all traffic areas, especially stairs. Unseen hazards on floors and stairways are one of the most consistent causes of injuries due to falls. Poor lighting affects efficiency and increases work fatigue causing errors and accidents. This is as true for the office worker as it is for the plant technician. Business owner and employer must know that profitable production as well as accident free operations are dependent upon proper illumination.