We use our back every day, whether we realize it or not. We twist, bend, push, pull, and lift all day long. Most of us don’t pay much attention to the movements and back muscles involved in these everyday actions. That is, until we pull a muscle in our back and have trouble doing simple things like sitting, walking, or even getting in and out of bed.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, there have been an average of nearly 270,000 reported back or spine injuries each year from 2003 to 2006. Fortunately, these numbers are steadily decreasing(303,750 in 2003, down to 250,670 in 2006), so progress is being made.
Most injuries probably could have been avoided by paying a little more attention to what we are doing and how we are doing it. Proper lifting techniques and using team lifting for heavier or awkward items help reduce the strain on your back muscles.
- Keep objects close to your body: Carrying objects close to your body helps keep the “load center” in balance. The farther from the body the item is, the more muscle strength needed to lift the item. This forces the muscles to move in ways they are not designed to move, which can cause a strain or pull.
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight: Focusing on keeping your back straight reduces the chances of twisting or bending in such a way that puts stress or strain on the muscles
- Lift with your legs: Your leg muscles are designed to lift. Using your leg muscles makes it easier to lift the item, as well as take the strain off your back.
Some jobs or hobbies require constant lifting and carrying. In these situations, it may be helpful to utilize a back support. They come in many different styles and are fairly inexpensive($17-$36). When compared to the national average of around $9,000 per incident for non-surgery medical expenses ($30,000+ for injuries requiring surgery), $36 and a bit of prevention is well worth the time and cost.
This summer, everyone will be outside working in their yards. Young people mow lawns to earn a little spending money while out of school. But did you know that in 1990, of the 87,000 people injured by lawnmowers, 20,000 were under 25 and 10,000 of those were younger than 15 years old.
Many injuries can be avoided by taking the proper precautions:
>These products are readily available to you for your safety. Be prepared and be safe this summer.
Why should you have to wear safety glasses while working? If you are working with hazardous chemicals or anything that might break and send small particles into the air, you need safety glasses or safety goggles to avoid getting something in your eyes. You might not realize that hazardous particles floating around can damage your vision; however, irritation, scratching, or even blindness can also occur when the eye is left unprotected.
Even if something doesn’t go directly into the eye, you may still have damage if you accidentally wipe your eye and the substance gets swept into it. If you are working with glass or mechanical parts that could break, you can prevent most eye injuries by wearing your safety glasses or face shields. It’s also important that you don’t rely solely on sunglasses or prescription glasses to protect your eyes because they are not designed for impact or splashes.
There are some very stylish safety glasses out there for those who want to look good on the job. In addition, there are glasses with magnification bifocals for those with vision problems. If you need more than reading glasses, you can also buy a pair of safety glasses with an insert for prescription lenses. There are even safety glasses you can put over your regular prescription glasses!
So there is really no excuse for neglecting your eyes when such a wide variety of safety glasses exist. A few dollars can help to prevent blindness or other damage to your eyes. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.