Oh, my aching back." Does that sound - or feel - familiar to you? It's no wonder. A survey conducted in Michigan reveals that back injuries are the most common injury farmers experience.

To avoid problems, follow these safety guidelines:

  • Avoid bending at the waist when lifting a heavy item. Instead, bend at your knees and keep your back straight. This forces your legs and arms to do the lifting, not your back.
  • When picking up a light item, use the "golfer's lift." This involves raising one of your legs as you reach over to pick up the item. Standing flat footed tends to strain muscles.
  • Avoid twisting at the waist while you lift.
  • Face the object that you are lifting.
  • Lift only what you can't pull and pull what you can't push. You can get more information and advice about proper lifting techniques at: www.rehabnet.com/guides/backpage.htm.

Also, share this information with your employees. Consider implementing a training session. It's better for them and for your workman's compensation rates.