Company Name __________________________ Job Name __________________________ Date________



We have all been told to avoid back injury by bending our knees when we lift, keeping the load close and avoiding twisting motions. These safety rules may be appropriate for simple, direct lifting of materials, but what about back care when you are working in awkward positions? Work tasks that require you to reach or stretch away from your body while handling materials can also put excessive strain on the vertebral discs and soft tissues in the back. An awkward position is a work posture that distorts the spine from its natural curves, puts unbalanced pressure on the discs, and can strain arm, leg or back tissues if held for any length of time.

What are some work situations that may put you in "awkward" positions?

  1. Jobs that require you to bend and reach into bins or containers to retrieve or place material.
  2. Overhead work, installing or servicing equipment, pulling wire, cleaning ceilings, etc.
  3. Floor or ground level jobs such as installing or servicing equipment, cleaning, etc.
  4. Work tasks in confined or small spaces where there is limited range of motion such as boilers, hatches, pipes, tanks, vaults, crawl spaces, etc.
  5. Jobs on ladders, work platforms or scaffolding where you may over-reach to adjust, clean, install or service.
  6. Pulling loads, instead of pushing them, when removing equipment or other materials.
  7. Repetitive tasks that require twisting of the back such as loading or handling material 90o to 180o from the starting point

How can you avoid injury when working in awkward positions?

What specific awkward positions do you face in your work?

How can you "work smarter instead of harder" to prevent injuries?


Safety Recommendations:__________________________________________________________________________________

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