Those employees working in agriculture will need to lift heavy loads and stoop excessively, both of which can cause serious back injury. Back soreness or injury not only interferes with daily work, it can also affect the rest of one's life.
Take the following precautions when lifting on the job to avoid back pain or injury:
- Whenever possible, keep the load between knee and shoulder level. This will put less strain on your shoulders, neck and back.
- Add handles to containers to make them easier to carry.
- Try to carry loads close to your body.
- Use dollies, pallet trucks or utility carts for heavy items that must be carried more than just a metre or two.
- Use roller conveyors for bags or boxes of vegetables or chemicals that you handle often. These carrying devices will limit the amount of lifting that you need to do. Conveyors are also useful for awkwardly sized or shaped loads that are difficult to lift or carry.
- Avoid lifting bags or boxes that are heavier than 22.7 kg (50 pounds). Either break larger loads down into smaller ones or ask a co-worker to assist you.
- Always bend at the knees and lift with your legs (rather than bending at the waist, which puts more strain on your back).
Stooped Work Guidelines:
Tasks that involve stooping for extended periods of time, which is a common occurrence in the agriculture industry, can place just as much strain on your back as lifting heavy items.
- Redesign tasks to avoid stooped work when possible.
- Attach long handles to your tools or use a stool to get lower to the ground.
- Take short breaks if you must do stooped work to stretch out and walk around.
Find out more:
This list is not exhaustive, and assessing your company's exposures and taking the appropriate precautions can go a long way toward protecting your agribusiness.
Download your own copy of our "Agriculture Employee Safety Manual" for an in-depth guide of more ways to minimize gaps in your risk management and keep your employees safe: