Take precautions to avoid back injuries


As the University is working toward a return to normal operations, you may be lifting and moving things around, such as chairs, printers, and other equipment, in preparation for on-site work. Take precautions before lifting or moving objects, as incorrect lifting can lead to back pain and/or a back injury.

Back pain is the result of a strain or sprain caused by poor posture, poor physical condition, tension and stress, aging, impact trauma, repetitive trauma, and incorrect lifting. Back injuries are a common workplace injury and can be quite painful and difficult to treat. A back injury can result in lost work time.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) found that incorrect lifting accounts for a third of all types of strain and sprain injuries in Washington each year. Heavy lifting, frequent lifting, and awkward lifting are often the causes of back injuries.

Before lifting or moving heavy objects, take the Back Safety and Injury Prevention online training course that covers back safety principles, risk factors for back injury, and tips for maintaining a healthy back, including stretching techniques, to help reduce or prevent work-related back injuries, unnecessary pain and mobility issues.

L&I offers a Lifting Hazards slide show (click on the link to download) that shows proper lifting techniques and back injury prevention with tips for reducing heavy, frequent and awkward lifting.

awkward lifting posture
Source: lni.wa.gov