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What does proper lifting technique look like?

If you work a job in which you lift heavy loads, day in and day out, you need to take care of your body. This means knowing what proper lifting technique looks like.

On the surface, lifting an item sounds easy enough. You assume that you simply pick it up and move it to its destination. While this may be the case with light items, those that are heavy require much more care on your part.

Here are some lifting technique tips to keep in mind at all times:

  • Keep a wide base, with your feet at shoulder width
  • Squat down by bending at your knees and hips
  • Keep good posture, which means a straight back and eyes forward
  • Lift slowly by straightening your knees and hips
  • Hold the item as close to your body as you can
  • Use your feet when you need to change direction, as opposed to rotating your body
  • Set the load down slowly, as this is where many injuries happen

Even if you use proper lifting technique, it's always possible that you could suffer an on-the-job injury.

If this happens, don't attempt to walk away from the scene. Call for help and then wait where you are until an ambulance arrives.

If your medical team decides that you need rest in order to recover, don't fight to go back to work. You should learn more about the workers' compensation system, as you may be able to receive benefits until you can return to your job. This money will help you get by during this difficult time.

Source: Web MD, "Proper Lifting Technique," accessed Oct. 06, 2017

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