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SAFE LIFTING FOR CAREGIVERS

It’s important to use good technique to perform safe lifting and avoid injury. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, lower back injuries are the most common work-related injury. Many caregivers acquire a back injury when trying to lift or move a client.   Safe lifting helps to protect the back while keeping the client and caregiver free of injury. There are important lifting techniques that take strain off the lower back. Safe Lifting Basics • Look over the situation carefully. Decide if you are able to handle the lift or transfer on your own, or if you need assistance. Trying to move someone who is too heavy for you to handle can result in injury to both parties. • Tell the client what you plan to do and how he/she may assist you. • Clear away any potential obstacles that may be in your path. • Moving, or supporting someone will change your balance. Keep the client close to your body and your normal center of gravity. Reaching out too far puts greater strain on the back and may cause you to tip over. • Use good foot position. Your feet should be shoulder width apart, with one foot slightly in front of the other. This allows full use of the powerful leg muscles, taking strain off the back. Make sure one foot is pointed in the direction of the move. • Bend your knees. Bending over at the waist puts strain on the back, neck & shoulder muscles. • Keep your arms and elbows as close to your body as possible while lifting. • Use your...