Tag Archives: heavy lifting


Are you looking after your joints? As the places in our bodies where bones meet, joints are essential for everyday movement. They are also very susceptible to damage and injury.  According to statistics from safeworkaustralia.gov.au, chronic joint conditions or strains of joints represented 40% of employees who received work-related compensation in 2010.

Some of the most common joint injuries include sprains and strains in the back, knee, wrists, ankles, wrists and elbows. Inflammatory joint conditions can also be very painful and sometimes debilitating. Examples of these include arthritis, bursitis, carpal instability, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

Here are five pointers to help you prevent common joint injuries. These can be applied effectively in the workplace but are also relevant for everyday activities like gardening and home maintenance.

Don’t overuse body parts that are already injured

Already suffering from pain and inflammation in your joints? Avoid putting undue strain on those affected areas. When working with an injury you need to keep in mind that tired sore muscles will not be working at optimal levels of strength. Trying to work through the pain can often cause further damage.

Correct lifting techniques

When heavy or awkward lifting is involved as part of your job make sure you know and use correct lifting techniques. These include bending at the knees and hips so that, instead of your back to taking the strain, your major muscles do the hard work instead.

Companies should have a manual detailing safe lifting on hand for staff to read.

Avoid repetitive movements for long periods and take a break

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a potentially debilitating condition resulting from overusing mainly upper body parts (hands or elbows) to perform a repetitive task, such as typing, clicking a mouse, or work on an industrial chain). Vary your work tasks so that you get a break between those tasks that might lead to RSI.

Keeping a prolonged sitting or standing position can also lead to joint inflammation conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Contact your OHS representative to report your problems or concerns and ask to get a more ergonomic work desk or seat. Consult an occupational therapist who can come to your workplace and help you set up your workstation correctly.

Keeping fit outside of work

Maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising including strengthening exercises can help to reduce stress on joints. Stretching is equally important to keep muscles supple and relaxed.

Incorporate stretching as part of your daily routine. At work it’s optimal to get up from your workstation and take a short stretch every 20 minutes.

Know your limits

Depending on your age, size and physical fitness your joints will be able to undertake various amounts of strain. Stop at the first sign of pain or irritation in your joints. Know when a task is too much for you and avoid undertaking those tasks that push you too far

Working within a range of motion and not over extending your joints helps to prevent common injuries such as sprains, strains and the onset of problems such as Bursitis.  Work related injuries will often require a discussion between your doctor, rehabilitation counsellor and employer.

Even normal, healthy joints deteriorate over time. It’s important to protect your joints and maximise their use, mobility and function now to save you a world of pain later in life.

While the best treatment is prevention, if detected early there are many options to help with joint pain such as physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment or massage. With the rise in popularity of natural alternatives you can also find many other natural ways to help with joint injuries such as the OSMO Patch which can help decrease swelling and inflammation.

 Author Bio: Danniel Jacques holds a B.Med.Sci from UNSW and is passionate about joint health and the benefits and importance of exploring natural alternatives in health care.  Google plus page – https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/109883296254635691947/106413800886668779908/

Note: Texas America Safety Company and Blog4Safety want to thank Danniel for this valuable information.  Taking care of your joints at a young age will benefit your body as time and age progress.  Added support of joints, such as elbows, knees, and back may be needed to help protect those joints that are overused. pb




Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent


DIY is something that most of us will tackle at some point or another around the home. Yet, if not done carefully, it can result in accidents and injuries, and is one of the top reasons for a visit to hospital. With winter in full force, this time of year can pose further challenges for DIY enthusiasts, so read on for some top tips to stay DIY safe this winter. 

Always read instructions 

There’s always so much to do in the run up to special guests or holidays;  a growing to-do list, you might want to tackle those neglected DIY projects in time for the festive season. However, no matter what DIY job you tackle, always make sure you are fully prepared and equipped with the right tools for the job. Read instructions and understand what needs to be done. Accidents may well occur if you’re in a rush to get things checked off your list. 

Let there be light 

Natural light levels are low in wintertime, so make sure that you tackle any DIY tasks with sufficient extra lighting. If you can’t see what you’re doing properly, then you may end up banging a nail into your finger, instead of the wall! 

Be careful using ladders 

No matter what time of year you use ladders, it’s always important to be safe and careful when using them. In winter, using ladders outdoors can pose more of a compromise to safety, especially if your boots are muddy making the steps slippery. Don’t go up a ladder in windy weather, either. If there’s a problem that needs fixing, for instance with your roof, then call a professional out. 

Electrical awareness 

We’re prone to wetter and windier weather in winter, so if you need to do any DIY work in the garden involving the use of electrical items, make sure that you don’t operate them on a wet day. Electricity and water don’t mix, and could result in a nasty electric shock. 

Don’t mess with gas 

During winter we are reliant on our boilers to keep us warm and provide hot water. If your boiler conks out on the coldest day of the year, don’t be tempted to tamper around with it, in an effort to get it up and running again. Messing with gas can be very dangerous, especially for the amateur DIYer, so it’s always worth calling out a professional if your boiler does end up letting you down. 

Wear protective equipment 

Don’t cut corners with any DIY tasks by not protecting yourself. Make sure your eyes, ears, hands or feet are protected for the particular DIY tasks that you are undertaking. 

Lifting heavy objects 

Many people like to have a makeover or shift furniture around as the different seasons change.  If you need to lift, move or carry anything at home, make sure that you do it safely and don’t cause injury to your back in the process. Get help to carry items, if needs be. The last thing you’ll want is to spend your time laid up in bed with a back injury because you were too impatient to get your DIY tasks done, or didn’t ask for help. 

A lover of all things DIY, Justine writes for one of the UK’s leading online suppliers of high quality tools and machinery – Tool Orders UK.



If you work a job that requires you to stand for most of the day or if you have to lift heavy materials, you’ll likely need substantial support for your back to prevent injury. It’s important to know which back support device will work best for your body and prevent your muscles from being strained. You’ll also need to keep a few safety tips in mind that will help you make the most of the back support products you purchase.

Back supports are designed to stabilize the groups of muscles in the back and abdomen region.

Supports that Prevent Strain

When lifting heavy boxes and machinery, a back support that securely holds your lower lumbar area is best. Products like the Spanbak Allegro back support may be a viable option. The brace is made from spandex that is breathable, so it will easily take on the shape of your body without causing you to excessively perspire. The back support brace also comes with removable suspenders that you can wear for especially strenuous jobs. There are also stays on the brace that are made from carbon steel coated in plastic to provide support for your torso and back as you work.

Supports that Provide Stability

When you stand for hours at a time and have to turn your torso constantly to move objects or operate machinery, you’ll need a back support that will keep the midsection of your body stable. The All Fit Back Support by Allegro is a great choice in cases like this. The support device fits most body sizes and includes a neoprene pad that fits over the center of the back and covers the spine to keep your back in a healthy position. There are also padded cushions in the front of the brace so that the abdomen is protected.

Supports that Prevent Further Back Injury

If you’ve strained or injured your back at work before, you’ll need a brace that will prevent the injury from getting worse and help you to avoid further strain. A brace with lumbar support that provides relief from pain in the back and keeps the muscles from becoming weaker is the answer. It’s best that the back brace is lightweight so that your body won’t have to carry too much extra weight, which could be overwhelming for your already fatigued muscles. The Lo Plus Lumbar Support may be a helpful solution in this case.

Don’t forget to stretch your back muscles after being in a standing position for hours.

Other Ways To Help

In addition to wearing back supports during work, there are a number of foods you can eat to make your back and torso muscles strong. Foods that are rich in protein and antioxidants will strengthen the muscles and improve circulation, so be sure to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables during your lunch break or at dinner. Nuts and seeds are healthy sources of protein and will give your muscles the endurance they need so you can do your job thoroughly.

Stretching the back safely before and after a long day at work can also keep your muscles from becoming stiff and inflamed. Remember to remove your brace as soon as possible after work to help it maintain its shape, and store it on a hanger so it will stay intact and be ready for everyday use.

P.S. Texas America Safety Company, tasco-safety.com, also carries the Spanbak lines of back support, as well as OK-1 Model SS, premier lifting belt.  Mention you read it on the blog, and you get 5% off. pb


It’s springtime! Aside from being the time of blooms, it’s also the time when you suddenly realize your house needs a fresh coat of paint, or your lawn needs mowing, or your furniture needs a little bit more than just dusting.

If you’re planning to haul out the cleaning equipment and clean every nook and cranny of your home, take note that there are certain risks involved. Unless you want to end up injured and in the emergency room, like some 21 million people every year (source: Home Safety Council), here are a few DOs and DON’Ts for safer, happier, and productive spring cleaning.

Do use common sense in climbing and using ladders
When using the ladder to wash windows or reach something high, use extreme caution. Follow weight limits on ladders and if possible, wear non-skid shoes. Don’t lean too far to either side as well. To be sure, have someone at the base to hold the ladder steady.

Do wear a mask or safety gear
Wearing safety goggles to clean the house may feel weird, but it can do you good in so many ways. Aside from glasses, you can also wear appropriate gloves, hearing protections and other products to prevent injuries. If you are allergic to dust, by all means, wear a mask when dusting.

Do be careful when moving large pieces of furniture
Improper pushing and lifting can cause major injuries that can last for several weeks. To stay safe, use proper lifting technique: bend and lift from the legs rather than the back. Seek the help of a partner when moving heavy objects and furniture.

Do keep paths clear
As you move things around, the entire house may turn into an obstacle course. Make sure to leave clear paths for you unless you want to end up slipping or stepping on something that may hurt your foot. One tip is to put them into boxes or bags away from steps and stairs.

Don’t rush because you’re tired
Most people want to get things done at the shortest time possible. However, this mostly leads to breaking things or accidents. If you’re exhausted, stop and take a break. Drink a glass of water and rest instead of being unsafe. Work can resume when you’re re-energized.

Don’t carry too much stuff at once
…especially on stairs. If you are taking things from your bedroom to the living room, make sure you have a free hand to hold onto the railing of the stairs. Also, even without having to go up and down the stairs, you should make sure the load you are carrying is enough so that you won’t trip.

Don’t mix and match cleaning products
When mixed with others, some chemicals can be toxic and flammable. Even virtually mild chemicals have a way of reacting. Since low cost health insurance is difficult to come by nowadays, better read labels and follow instructions properly if you want to stay safe. To be sure, use eco-friendly cleaning solutions instead!

Don’t leave water buckets unattended
Mopping the floor or washing the windows usually require a bucket of water. If you need to take a quick break, make sure to empty the bucket or put it in an inaccessible area, at the very least. Spilled water can increase the risk of slips and falls, as well as drowning for the little ones.

Have a happy and safe spring cleaning everyone!

About the author: Based in California, Melissa Page is a professional writer with over 4 years of professional writing experience. Despite being a safety-conscious health buff, she still believes in the importance of health insurance. She also loves travelling and bowling.


Yesterday, we talked about ways to protect our backs through posture, exercise, and proper planning of lifting.  Many industries involve heavy lifting, such as materials handling, delivery of products, and in the healthcare field, lifting of patients.  This type of lifting can cause caregivers to have to be in awkward positions often when a patient suddenly tries to get up unassisted, not realizing they will fall without the caregiver’s help. 

Employees whose jobs require lifting for long periods of time, should have adequate rest periods to allow their body to rest.  They should also drink water often.  Lifting heavy items is one of the leading causes of injury in workplaces.  Overexertion and cumulative trauma were the biggest factors in back injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor.  Employees should use smart lifting practices and work in their “power zone.”  They will be less likely to suffer back sprains, muscle pulls, wrist injuries, elbow injuries, spinal injuries, and other injuries caused by lifting heavy objects.  Factors that contribute to injuries are:

  • Environmental elements.
  • Inadequate handholds.
  • Weight of objects.
  • Awkward Postures.
  • High-frequency and long-duration lifting. 

“Power Zone” height is about mid-thigh to mid-chest.  Maintain neutral and straight spine alignment whenever possible.  Bending at the knees, rather than the waist, usually helps maintain proper spine alignment.  In handling heavy materials, if possible, break down loads in smaller quantities and break down loads off-site.  When possible, ask vendors to break down loads prior to delivery.  Weight should be limited to 50 pounds.  When lifting loads heavier than that, use two or more people to lift the load.  

Preplanning and good housekeeping will optimize employee access to heavy items.  Ladders should be used to elevate employees and move them closer to the work area to avoid overhead lifting.  Workers should try to avoid twisting, bending, and reaching awkwardly. 

Inadequate handholds make lifting harder by moving the load away from the body, lower lift heights, and increase the risk of contact stress and of dropping the load.  Ask suppliers to place their materials in containers with good handholds.  Handles, slots or holes should have enough room to accommodate gloved hands.  The proper personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn to avoid finger injuries and contact stress.  Work Safety Gloves should fit properly and furnish a good grip in order to reduce the risk of dropping the load.  Lifting belts, support belts, and shoes with non-slip soles are other ways of keeping the back and body safe. 

Environmental elements are other potential hazards.  Cold temperatures can cause decreased muscle flexibility, resulting in pulled muscles.  Very hot temperatures can lead to dehydration, fatigue, and increased metabolic load.  Low visibility or poor lighting can increase the risk of trips and falls. 

It is important for those who do physical work to be cautious about how they perform their duties.  Protecting the entire body, by wearing the correct PPE, and following the rules of safe lifting, or safe practices in general,  will allow workers to feel better much longer, and avoid long-term injuries.