Injuries from lifting, loading, pulling or pushing can happen to anyone in any industry. It is important to be aware of the risks in your workplace.

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1 Workplace safety: lifting One of the biggest concerns in the workplace is lifting and loading. When you lift something, the load on your spine increases and your spine can only bear so much before it is injured. Research shows that cumulative loading repeating the same load bearing activity over a period of time poses just as much of a risk. Injuries from lifting, loading, pulling or pushing can happen to anyone in any industry. It is important to be aware of the risks in your workplace. Be aware of the risks All employers should have a workplace risk assessment in place that identifies hazards and helps to minimize risk and injury. This risk assessment should include tasks that involve lifting. Employers should identify safe practices for completing tasks without injury, such as using trolleys and handcarts, forklifts, or identifying when it is important to have two people to lift an object. From warehouses where handling large, heavy objects is common to offices where boxes of copier paper are a less obvious threat, all Albertans should know proper lifting techniques. Bend your knees, lift with ease When you are lifting, correct body position and lifting technique is crucial to preventing injury. Here is a step by step technique for lifting safely and preventing back injury. 1. Stand close to the object you are going to lift. 2. Place your feet shoulder width apart. 3. Bend your knees and keep your back straight to squat to the level of the object. 4. Test the weight of the load before lifting. 5. Keep the load close to your body. 6. Use the strength of your leg and arm muscles (not your back) to smoothly and slowly lift the load. Do not to jerk when lifting. 7. Pivot to turn in the direction you want to move toward. 8. Avoid twisting your body while turning and carrying the load. 9. Bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its new location. 10. Always ask for help if the load is too large, heavy or awkward.

2 Injuries and Workers Compensation Workplace injuries don t just cost employers by reducing productivity; they also cost employees by immediately affecting their quality of life and potentially long term health. Chiropractic is demonstrated to be one of the most clinically and cost effective methods of treating many work related injuries. For almost 10 years, chiropractic treatment has had the highest satisfaction rates among injured workers. If you are hurt at work, you can go straight to a chiropractor for treatment. The WCB does not require you to see a medical doctor first. A chiropractor can submit assessment information to the WCB for review and to determine the outcome of your claim. For information on how to access WCB coverage or to find a WCBauthorized chiropractor, visit the WCB website at wcb.ab.ca. albertachiro.com

3 Office ergonomics: is your office causing you pain? Is your office a pain?, we re not talking about not enough parking, office gossip or not enough space in the lunchroom. What we re asking is if your office ergonomics are causing physical strain on your body. First, what is ergonomics? In essence it is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body and its cognitive abilities. Wikipedia ( Proper ergonomics minimize physical stress on your body a very important consideration as many Albertans spend eight or more hours sitting at a desk staring virtually non stop at a computer. Second, how can ergonomics cause you to feel strain and pain? If your chair, keyboard, computer monitor, etc. are not positioned properly, your body is forced to deal with stress that could lead to neck pain, low back pain and other physical issues. How can you create a good ergonomic workspace? 1. Position your chair at a height where your feet are comfortably positioned flat on the floor, with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Improper positioning and support of your lower body can lead to low back strain, pain and injury. 2. Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level to reduce neck strain. 3. Use the hands free/speaker option or a headset rather than holding your telephone between your ear and shoulder, which can lead to neck and shoulder strain. 4. Your keyboard tray should be positioned slightly below the height of your elbows, creating a negative slope that will allow your wrists to rest in a neutral position and help you avoid repetitive stress injuries. 5. Use an ergonomic keyboard to allow your wrists to rest at a more natural angle than traditional keyboards to prevent strain in your wrists and arms. It is also important to remember to take regular breaks throughout your workday to stretch. Try to stand up or walk around every 45 minutes. This can be incorporated into your work routine by taking phone calls, filing or reading while standing up rather than sitting. You could also deliver messages to a co worker in person rather than ing it.

4 What to do if you are already experiencing pain and strain from poor office ergonomics? When you feel tension or stress in certain area of your body like the neck, back and shoulders, change positions or try some gentle stretching exercises like shoulder shrugs. Doctors of chiropractic are ideally suited to helping you deal with the pains and strains resulting from everyday office work. If you experience back pain related to poor ergonomics, consult your chiropractor. To find a chiropractor near you, visit albertachiro.com. albertachiro.com

5 What s holding you back? Most Canadians experience back pain at some point in their lives. Left untreated, back pain can seriously impact daily living, yet almost 15 per cent of Canadians report they do nothing to treat their back pain. Another 50 per cent of Canadians will only treat the symptoms and not the cause of the pain. Are you holding back from taking control of your back pain and your life? Take this quiz to find out! 1. Do you regularly experience back pain that comes and goes? 2. Does your back pain ever interfere with your normal daily activities? 3. Do you miss out on sports or physical activities as a result of back pain? 4. Do you believe there is no effective treatment for back pain? 5. Are you concerned about costs associated with back pain treatment? 6. Have you taken pain relievers for more than three days in a row to self treat back pain? 7. Are you worried about what a diagnosis might mean if you visit a health professional? 8. Do you hope your back pain will go away on its own? 9. Does your busy schedule keep you from seeking treatment for your back pain? 10. Do you just tough it out when you experience back pain? If you answered yes to four or more of the questions and specifically questions 9 or 10, you are probably avoiding dealing with back pain that is limiting your quality of life. If you experience back pain that restricts your activities, your chiropractor can help. Chiropractors are specifically trained to diagnose and effectively treat back, neck and joint pain. For more information, including where to find a chiropractor near you, visit albertachiro.com. albertachiro.com

6 What s your risk for back pain? You can do a lot to minimize the stress on your back. Take this quiz to find out your risk for back pain. Lifestyle 1. Do you exercise on a regular basis? 2. Do you carry a backpack or purse over one shoulder? 3. Do you often wear shoes with heels more than 2 high? 4. Are you overweight? 5. Are stress relieving activities a regular part of your day? Workplace 1. Do you stand for long hours during your work day? 2. Does your job require frequent bending or lifting? 3. Do you find your workstation comfortable? 4. Do you make time for frequent stretch breaks each day? 5. Do you experience back pain at the end of your work day? Sports and Physical Activity 1. Do you warm up before sports or physical activities? 2. Have you experienced unexpected pain after sports or physical activities? 3. Have you ever experienced a sport related injury? 4. Do you wear the right equipment when you exercise or participate in sports? 5. Do you get in shape before starting a new seasonal activity? At Home 1. Do you sleep on your stomach? 2. Do you have a comfortable mattress and a supportive pillow? 3. Do you get help from someone when lifting heavy objects? 4. Do you care for children under the age of three? 5. Does yard work or household tasks cause you back discomfort?

7 Add up your score using the chart below. Lifestyle 1. yes= 0 sometimes= 1 no= 2 2. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 3. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 4. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 5. yes= 0 sometimes= 1 no= 2 Sports/Activity 1. yes= 0 sometimes= 1 no= 2 2. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 3. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 4. yes= 0 sometimes= 1 no= 2 5. yes= 0 sometimes= 1 no= 2 Workplace 1. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 2. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 3. yes= 0 sometimes= 1 no= 2 4. yes= 0 sometimes= 1 no= 2 5. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 At Home 1. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 2. yes= 0 sometimes= 1 no= 2 3. yes= 0 sometimes= 1 no= 2 4. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 5. yes= 2 sometimes= 1 no= 0 If you scored: 0 14 Congratulations! You are doing a great job keeping your back healthy. Talk with your chiropractor about ways to further enhance your healthy lifestyle t bad! You may want to consult your chiropractor for ways to further reduce your risk of back pain. Ouch! You should talk with your chiropractor about ways to reduce the back pain that is currently limiting your lifestyle. Please note: this is not a clinical diagnostic tool and does not replace a comprehensive assessment, diagnosis or treatment advice from a chiropractor or other health professional. Chiropractors are specifically trained to diagnose and effectively treat back, neck and joint pain. For more information, including where to find a chiropractor near you, visit albertachiro.com. albertachiro.com

8 The Principles of Proper Lifting Hug that load Maintain a natural posture You ll notice your lower back curves naturally when standing straight. Do your best to maintain this posture while lifting, lowering or moving. Holding a load close to your body reduces the strain placed on the muscles of your back and trunk. Wear all required protective clothing to prevent sharp objects from causing injury. This position assures the greatest spinal and back stability. Flex your abs Contracting your abdominal muscles or bracing when lifting, lowering or moving improves your spinal stability. Even slight ab contractions can significantly reduce your likelihood of getting injured. Don t do the twist Twisting decreases the stability of your back and increases your chances of injury. Pivot with your feet to turn rather than twisting your body. Workplace injuries can strike any industry. If you suffer a back strain or injury, consider chiropractic. Chiropractors are back care experts and the obvious practitioner of choice for treatment of back pain, injury and related conditions. For more information visit Alberta College and Association of CHIROPRACTORS

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