Safe Lifting Practices
Back, neck and shoulder injuries are some of the most commonly occurring injuries in the construction industry. More than half of these back-related injuries are caused by bodily reaction and exertion which includes improper lifting. As construction involves a great deal of manual lifting, it is important to know steps and techniques involved in proper lifting to reduce your chances of an injury. Always stop and think before bending to pick up an object, and over time, safe lifting techniques should become a habit.
Safe Lifting & Carrying Tips to Help Prevent Back Injuries Before Lifting:
- Size up the load and get help if needed - Do not attempt to lift the load if it appears to be too heavy or awkward.
- Use a dolly, forklift or other material handling equipment whenever possible.
- For a two-person lift, both people should be roughly the same height and agree upon who will take charge, the type of lift and how they will lower the load.
- Make sure the weight of the load is balanced and packed so it will not move around during transportation.
- Ensure there is plenty of room to move, your path is clear of any hazards, and avoid walking on slippery, uneven surfaces - Good housekeeping ensures you won't trip or stumble over an obstacle.
While Lifting, Carrying & Lowering:
- Get as close to the load as possible - Lifting capacity is reduced the further away you are from the load.
- Put yourself in the best possible position for the lift, avoiding reaching, bending or twisting.
- Use a well balanced stance, feet shoulder-width apart and one foot slightly ahead of the other.
- Bend at the knees and grip the object with the palms of your hands and fingers - The palm grip is much more secure.
- Tighten your stomach muscles as you begin to lift. Keep your lower back in its normal curved position and use your legs to lift - The muscles in your legs are much stronger than your back muscles.
- To change direction, shift your foot position and turn your whole body - Pick up your feet and pivot ensuring you do not twist your back.
- Lower the load using your legs and maintaining the curve in your lower back - You can injure your back just as easily lowering the load as you can lifting it.
(Source: SCSAonline, June 2019)
Machine Guarding-It May Not Be Popular, But It's The
Right Thing To Do!
By Barb Strickland
BMSA Director of Member & Safety Services
As many of you know, when I perform a safety audit, one of the things I always talk about is the importance of Machine Guarding. It's a difficult topic to broach because even if a machine comes with a guard from the manufacturer, it may have been removed because the operator feels "it just gets in the way". That is a common feeling among machine operators, but machine guarding goes a long way to prevent amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries and abrasions. Without such guarding, the resulting injury can be severe or even fatal.
According to OSHA 1910.212(a), the following areas of any machinery should be guarded:
· Points of operation
· Ingoing nip points
· Rotating parts
· Areas that may scatter flying chips and sparks
If you've been hesitant to upset the apple cart and make the investment of time and money to thoroughly guard those machines that are used day in and day out, consider what recently happened to a Pennsylvania Manufacturer...
Pennsylvania Manufacturer Cited for Workplace Safety Hazards Following Worker Amputation
Champion Modular, Inc., was fined $687,650 after a worker suffered an amputation. OSHA issued willful and serious citations to the company for failing to use machine guarding, provide fall protection, and train workers on hazard communication and hearing conservation. For more information, read the
and visit OSHA's
(Source: OSHA QuickTakes Newsletter, June 2019)
Machine guarding can save the life of someone you care about. If you need help beefing up your safety program, call Barb Strickland RN, SSH at BMSA (800) 849.1503.
Make Your Plans Now To Attend!
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Enjoy fun in the sun with your family & friends as you learn ways to grow your business!
For more information and registration materials, go to BMSA's website: www.mybmsa.or
Safe + Sound Challenges You to Find and Fix Hazards in the Workplace
Join OSHA's Safe + Sound campaign during June to focus on finding and fixing hazards! Effective safety and health programs should include a process for finding and fixing workplace hazards. Get started by taking our
Check on Safety Challenge
! Safe + Sound is a year-round campaign to encourage every workplace to have a safety and health program. Find out more on the
Safe + Sound website
(Source: OSHA QuickTakes newsletter, June 2019)
What workers who are at risk of whole-body and arm-hand vibration should know
Operating power tools, vehicles and heavy equipment can take both an immediate and eventual toll on the body.
For millions of workers in the construction, maintenance, mining, forestry, transportation, agriculture and automotive industries, the effects of sustained on-the-job exposure to vibration - whether hand-arm or whole-body - may lead to various health problems.
So what can be done to help prevent this?
Workers exposed to vibration through regular use of power tools are at risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome, which The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) calls "a collective term for vibration-induced neurological, vascular and musculoskeletal disorders in the hand-arm system."
Tools linked to hand-arm vibration include chain saws, drills, grinders, riveters and jackhammers. The risk exists regardless of whether the tool is powered by electricity, gasoline or air.
Safety+Health magazine, June 2019)
Calendar of Events
BMSA's Summer Conference
(Myrtle Beach, SC)
Leadership Graduates Roundtable
Sept. 29 - Oct. 1:
NLBMDA ProDealer Industry Summit
(Colorado Springs, CO)
(North Myrtle Beach, SC)
Operations Manager Roundtable A
(Hilton Head, SC)
Sales Manger Roundtable
(Hilton Head, SC)