According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. There are many steps you can take to improve the workplace and work practices, making workers safer and more resilient. Understanding body mechanics and how injuries develop over time will make you a better guardian of your health. Take your own health into consideration– make the right choice when preparing to execute proper manual handling.
AWEA has just issued new materials to help you make that right choice– set yourself up for success! The use of proper procedures, tools, and techniques can help to mitigate potential injuries. Here are some key items to consider:
- Plan the workflow to eliminate unnecessary lifts. The best lift you make is the one you don’t have to.
- Warm-up before you lift such as dynamic/resistive warm-ups and rolling out muscles.
- Ramps, roller/conveyors, hand trucks, and pulley systems are all great ways to minimize the lifts you need to make.
- Use mechanical advantage, whenever available, to lift the load.
- When lifting avoid twisting of the spine and awkward positions of the shoulder.
- Position your body closer to what you are working with.
- Keep the lifts in your power zone which is: above the knees, below the shoulders, and close to the body.
The Proper Lifting Techniques PowerPoint presentation, created by the AWEA EHS Operations and Maintenance Working Group, focuses on pre-task plan, preparing the load, and preparing for the lift with specifics on working in different environments. Use this presentation for awareness, safety meetings, and training. We all want the wind energy workforce to stay safe out there!