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Preventing Back Injuries (In-Service Training)

Understand your back – a healthy back has 3 natural cuves

  • Cervical curve of the neck: supports the head
  • Thoracic curve of the middle back: supported by the ribcage
  • Lumbar curve of your lower back: balances the entire upper body(most susceptile to injury).

Ten Principles of Body Mechanics

  1. Plan to maneuver – a) Assess the client’s situation, b) Know your destination, c) Clear a path;
  2. Always ask for help when available;
  3. Position your feet apart at shoulder’s width to give you a broad base support;
  4. Keep the load to be lifted close to your body to avoid extended reaching. Bring height of object to waist level or lower your self to level of the client/resident;
  5. Point feet in the direction that you are moving. Bend at your knees and hips. Do not bend or twist your back;
  6. Straighten your legs to lift using your strongest muscles: leg and thigh;
  7. Pivot your feet or change their position when turning. Do not bend or twist your back;
  8. Push, pull, roll or slide an object instead of lifting. Use the weight of your body to move the load by shifting your weight from front of foot to rear of foot;
  9. Always use assistive devices when advisable and available;
  10. Make sure all surfaces are stable. Lock all wheels.
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