Ask your back this question – Are you ready?

Very soon, many of Fort Lee personnel will be relocating into the new Sustainment Center of Excellence Headquarters building.

Back injury is a leading safety problem, second only to common colds as the reason people are absent from work.

Your back muscles are one of the most used body parts during a move.

Keeping in mind that we are an aging workforce; the majority of government workers are over 40 years of age. This move is going to require personnel at a certain degree to conduct a wide range of moving tasks (packing, lifting, unpacking, bending).

The risk of back injuries can be eliminated by incorporating proactive measures and safe lifting techniques into your move plan. Personnel who had previous back injury must know their safe lifting limitations.

Leaders/supervisors identify their personnel with past back injuries or medical problems.

It doesn’t take a smart person to understand the smart lifting techniques or the “dos and don’ts” in lifting.

Take a few minutes to educate or refresh your skills in the safe lifting techniques.

LIFTING – think about the lift before you attempt to move anything:

●Stretch before the lift

●Clear the pathway

Assess the weight

●Request help if you need it

●Take your time

●Wear flat shoes

●Hold the object close to the body

●Keep back aligned properly with head in neutral/upright position

●Bend at your knees

●Tighten the abdominal muscles

●Lift with your legs

●Pivot your feet before you move in another direction (do not twist at the waist)

●Never lift above your head

●Try to avoid sudden movements

●Stretch out frequently during sessions of repeated lifting

●Try to think about what you are doing with your body each and every time you attempt to lift an object. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Just because you can lift it, doesn’t mean you should. “Work Smarter, Not Harder”

MATERIALS HANDLING – the materials you handle are not as important as the way you handle them:

THINK about how you will get the load from point A to point B

ASSESS the load first and ask for help if the item is too heavy or bulky to life alone

DO A TILT TEST to determine if you can handle the weight of the item

USE MECHANICAL AIDS such as cart, dollies, and etc.

USE PROPER LIFTING TECHNIQUES for each and every lift

CLEAR THE PATHWAY to your destination

GET A GOOD GRIP on the load before you attempt to move it

DIVIDE THE LOAD into smaller, lightweight packages, if possible

MOVE IN CLOSE to the load before you attempt to move it

Take good care of your body – it is your most important tool!

Support Team Lee with zero back injuries during the SCoE move. For additional information, call (804) 765-3129.