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Back Injury and Lifting Course

According to the Department of Labor: More than one million workers suffer back injuries each year and 1/4 of all workers compensation claims involve back injuries.  Back injuries are exceedingly painful and are difficult to heal.  After just one injury, you are much more likely to experience another sometime during your life.

Is there a law about the maximum weight you can lift safely?

There is no specific law regarding the maximum weight a worker can lift. Restricting loads to a particular weight does not guarantee safety. You might injure yourself by reaching awkwardly to pick up a very light load or by slipping and losing your balance while handling a modest load.

It’s difficult to develop specific lifting requirements based only on weight. Other workplace and personal factors can contribute to injury. They include:

  • the distance between the object being lifted and the front of your body
  • the number of lifts you repeatedly perform
  • the length of time during which you perform repeated lifts
  • the size, shape and texture of the object you are lifting
  • the distance you carry the object
  • the height from which you lift the object (starting height)
  • the height to which you lift the object (finishing height)
  • whether or not the object has handholds
  • the extent to which you twist your body
  • your age, health, skill, stamina and fitness level

Training Provided via Cornerstone System or Moodle

With lifting injuries accounting for just over 1/4 of all recordable injuries on our campus, we strongly recommend fulltime faculty and staff taking the Back Injury and Lifting course in the Cornerstone Learning Management System (LMS).  This course is also available in Moodle for all partime employees and students, upon request of the course.  These courses tackle the costly problem of back injury by providing practical instruction on back injury prevention as well as a variety of safe lifting techniques. The challenges faced by the aging workforce and behavior modification are also addressed.  Also offered is a Back Injury and Lifting course specific to custodial and maintenance staff. 

For More information, view How Much Can I Lift

For information on before and after indoor and outdoor work stretching, view Non-Floor Stretches