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Posted on: October 31, 2016 By: Trevor Atherton, Safety Mgr

Body Mechanics

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

Body mechanics describes the way you move during daily work activities.  The positions that you put your body in on a jobsite can greatly increase your chance of incidents or injuries.  Body mechanics play an important role in keeping you safe on a day to day basis.

The following are a list of frequent body movements and ways you can reduce your risk of injury:

  • Bending
    • Place your feet apart with one foot advanced, lower your body by flexing hip and knee joints and keeping your upright position, shift your body weight forward so that is rest on the advanced foot and on the ball of the rear foot, raise your body to standing position by extending the hip and knee joints while keeping your body aligned and balanced.
    • If possible move work area to a more suitable location.
    • Make sure you have the right equipment before moving material.
  • Twisting
    • Try to keep your work area in the middle of your body.
    • Have the right equipment for the job.
    • If you need to change position from a ladder move the ladder instead of twisting.
    • Move your whole body instead of just twisting your upper torso.
  • Standing
    • Wear the proper foot protection with adequate grip for the task.
    • Keep your feet flat on the floor and separated about 12 inches
    • Keep your back straight.
  • Walking
    • Keep your back straight.
    • Keep your eyes on the walking path and things going on around you.
  • When Lifting
    • Keep our back straight.
    • Bend from your hips and knees.  Don’t bend at the waist.
    • Keep objects close to your body.
    • Use mechanical lifting devices when possible.  If objects weigh over 50 lbs, two people are required.
  • Reaching
    • Try to move to a more accessible, better location before beginning work if you can.
    • Use smooth, coordinated movements.
    • Do not reach to use tools or move heavy materials.
    • Avoid twisting, move your whole body.
  • Pushing or Pulling
    • Use your body weight to help push or pull objects.
    • Keep your back straight.
    • Lower your body to the height of the object.  Do not bend at the waist.
  • Other
    • When working around existing equipment or situations, take time to look at the best place to perform your work.  Always look for the position that will put the least strain on your body.

Be sure to practice correct body mechanics during each work day. They allow you to reduce your risk of injury, to look more professional and to feel less fatigued.

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