April: Tips for Safe Lifting
Stay safe and active on and off the job.
BC Physiotherapists share 4 tips to prevent the most common form of workplace injury.
Vancouver, BC April 1, 2012| April 28 is the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. According to WorkSafeBC young males under the age of 25 are at the highest risk for a workplace injury and the number one danger facing these young workers is lifting objects. With this in mind, thePhysiotherapy Association of BC has put together a few tips on how to lift objects safely to prevent injury.
“We can all use a reminder about how to lift and carry heavy objects,” says Rebecca Tunnacliffe, CEO of the Physiotherapy Association of BC. “Whether at work or home, carrying boxes, lifting heavy objects and moving furniture can cause injury to the neck, shoulders and back. However, by following our Physio-4 for Lifting can greatly reduce the chance of injury from lifting both on and off the job,” adds Tunnacliffe.
The Physio-4 for safe lifting:
- Warm up and plan before you lift. To get your blood flowing and your joints lubricated do some practice squats, heel lifts and arm circles first. Plan ahead for your path of lifting; think twice, lift once. And, check to make sure the surface area is not slippery or uneven.
- Lift with your legs not your back. Stand as close as possible to the item you are lifting. Stand shoulder width apart and bend at the knees, not the waist so you use your legs and core rather than your back to lift. If the item is big and heavy, get help or use a dolly.
- Wear proper footwear. When you’re planning on lifting something, wear good shoes with low heels, not sandals, high heels or flip-flops. Don’t twist when you lift, move your feet to the new position.
- Control the weight, don’t let it control you. If you are lifting more than one thing, balance the weight equally between both hands; don’t lift a heavy item with one hand and a light item with the other. Plant your feet and lower your centre of gravity.
The Physiotherapy Association of BC created the Physio-4 to share the expertise of its members with fellow British Columbians. “Each month on our website, movingforlife.ca, we provide 4 tips for a specific activity or health issue relating to that month to help keep British Columbians moving for life,” says Tunnacliffe. “We want British Columbians to know that if they are injured or in pain, a physiotherapist can help. After all, we are the healthcare professionals physicians recommend most,” she states. The Physio-4 Tips for lifting provides tips to keep British Columbians pain and injury free both on and off the job.
BC physiotherapists are the most physically active healthcare professionals in Canada and the ones physicians recommend most. To learn more about how physiotherapists keep British Columbians moving for life, visit movingforlife.ca. Go to the Physio-4 Calendar to see other tips from other months and activies.