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Environmental Health and Safety

Material Handling (Safe Lifting)

Back pain and injuries related to lifting and handling materials are some of the most frequent types of injuries. Many of the factors that contribute to the potential for injury can be reduced or minimized. Investing time in an effective Back Care Program yields improved productivity, morale and reduces potential lost work time due to injury.

Personal factors that may contribute to back pain:

  • Poor physical fitness
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Poor posture
  • Medical/physical deficiencies

Workplace factors that may contribute to back pain:

  • Inadequate workplace design
  • Improper or defective material handling equipment
  • Improper manual or mechanical handling methods
  • Inadequate training


Scope and Application

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) applies the General Duty Clause to workplace conditions likely to cause back injuries. Departments with jobs or tasks that require frequent handling of packages, objects or materials are responsible for ensuring that adequate controls and procedures are in place to minimize the possibility of back injuries.

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