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Weekly Toolbox Talk: Sprains and Strains

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Sprains and strains continue to be one of the highest types of injuries within our company. By following a few simple rules, many of these injuries can be avoided or their severity greatly reduced. Medical evidence has shown that performing warm-up exercises before work and after breaks reduces strain and sprain type injuries.

These rules are:

 Warm up before performing physical task
 Stretch when starting work, after breaks and lunch
 Get help if the task requires it
 Push whenever possible, don’t pull
 Let go of an object that starts to fall when you are carrying or pushing it
 Always wear the proper PPE
 Use devices such as sheetrock dollies whenever possible to avoid carrying a heavy load
 Make sure your path is clear if you are carrying or pushing something

Proper lifting techniques include:

 Use leg muscles and bend at the knees to pick up a load
 Pivot by stepping (or leading) with your feet when turning a load and avoid twisting the body or back
 Use both hands to lift and carry the load, which will evenly distribute the weight of the load
 Get a firm handgrip on the load
 Avoid bending at the waist when lifting a load
 Keep the load close to your body to avoid additional strain to your back
 Ask for help when lifting heavy or awkward objects

Some of our jobs require a considerable amount of lifting and reaching. Even rugged and seasoned lifters’ muscle can get out of shape or become more prone to injury when given time off, even over a weekend. Warming up before work each day is key to healthy muscles and a strong back. Remember!! The same stretching and lifting techniques that are used on the job can be used working at home also.

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