Protecting yourself against overexertion doesn’t mean, don’t do anything. It’s not an excuse to get out of work, but we need to evaluate the best and safest way to do the tasks in front of us. We are not superheroes and we don’t have (as my two year old would say) super gekko muscles. We need to work within our means. Here are some tips to help you avoid an injury due to overexertion.

Ask for help if needed. This doesn’t make you weak, it makes you proactive. It doesn’t matter what the item weighs, it could be awkward, you could already have a pre-existing injury… So just get help. Make a plan. Know where you are going, and that the path is free and clear of anything that could cause slips, trips and falls. Use carts, pallet jacks or any other appropriate tool to help. Alternate between tasks, especially if doing a task with vibration. This will help reduce vibration and /or give a variety of physical positions and movements. Always push instead of pulling. Have a good stance and footing, usually shoulder width apart. Don’t twist your body and always bend at the waist. Lift with your legs not your back. If lifting, keep the item close to your body and move slowly. And if course, always use the proper PPE to help with the task.

I know you’ve heard everything in this post over and over again, but in the moment, we seem to forget to follow these simple guidelines. Over-exerting our bodies can leave us with serious injuries. So take the time, make a plan, and ask for help.

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