Let's talk about preparing for and properly executing the lift. A back support is really the last line of defence in the fight against back injuries. Proper preparation and technique are essential. Whenever possible, the best practice is to figure out how NOT to lift at all or substitute the worker in the lift, eliminating the risk of a sprain or strain injury altogether. Of course, this is not always realistic, so when lifting it's important to follow the eight commandments of proper lifting to ensure proper lifting posture.
Plan the lift and test the load. If the test feels as though the load may be too heavy, ask for help. Get a firm footing by placing one foot slightly in front of the other, bend at the knees, and tighten the stomach muscles. Next, and perhaps one of the most important techniques to remember, lift with the legs, not with the back. Remember to always keep the load close to the body, as extending the load puts undue stress on the back. Lastly, keep the back upright, transport the load as needed and complete the lift. Let's go through the eight commandments one more time, just to be safe.
#1: Plan your lift and test the load
#2: Ask for help
#3: Get a firm footing
#4: Bend your knees
#5: Tighten your stomach muscles
#6: Lift with your legs
#7: Keep the load close
#8: Keep your back upright