As part of their job in Michigan, people may lift heavy loads. There are incorrect ways to lift things, though, and it is important to understand proper lifting techniques to prevent accidents at work.

Although lifting something may not seem dangerous, this action contributes to a significant number of injuries. Occupational Health and Safety magazine says that 36.6 percent of injuries which resulted in a person taking time away from work in 2012 occurred because someone overexerted their body. Many of these injuries were to a person’s back, and wounds to this part of the body were more common than those to knees and shoulders.

Some of these back injuries occur because of improper posture. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that reaching up to lift something can stress a person’s shoulders. Additionally, people can be harmed when they bend over as they lift. This posture puts the combined weight of a person’s upper body and the load on their back. It is recommended that people carry small loads rather than one large one, as this can keep one side of the body from experiencing all of the pressure.

One of the best ways to avoid an injury is to lift things as little as possible. It is recommended that people use lift gates and forklifts when they need to lift heavy objects and use ladders so they do not need to reach overhead. Additionally, they should try to store materials around chest-height so they do not need to bend over. It is also a good idea to work in teams when a load weighs more than 50 pounds.