If you work in a busy warehouse environment, you may be wondering what’s safe in terms of personal protective gear, and how to dress and prepare for one of these physical jobs. However, some of the answers might surprise you — for instance, what about back braces, or “back belts” as they’re often called? Who should wear one, and what should you do to protect your back? Here are some ideas from one of the most experienced staffing agencies in Ontario CA.
The Lowdown on Back Braces
You might guess that a lot of federal safety agencies are suggesting that everyone wear a back brace, even for casual warehouse work – but that’s not actually the case. It turns out that the CDC, NIOSH and OSHA all consider back braces to be unproven as therapeutic for injury prevention.
That’s not to say that back braces can’t help — if you think your back will benefit from one, you actually should wear it. The fact, though, is that OSHA does not consider back braces to be a critical part of personal protective equipment mandated for these physical jobs.
If I Don’t Wear a Back Brace, What Should I Do?
Top safety agencies instead suggest that workers should have an advanced ergonomics program in place at work to prevent back injuries. In other words, it’s more about what you lift and how you lift it than whether or not you’re wearing a back brace.
In fact, federal and state authorities are really pounding the drums about ergonomics as a major way to prevent all sorts of injury. In any manufacturing or physical environment, safety administrators should look at the workspace, the range of motion that’s required, the tools that are used, and the products or materials handled. Coming up with a detailed ergonomics program can protect everyone from unfortunate and somewhat avoidable spectrums of accidents. It’s important to understand that an ergonomics program at work needs to be holistic – it has to take every part of the job process into account. But when you do this, you’re ensuring a much safer work environment.
You’ll remember the old adage of ‘lift with your knees’ and those sorts of ideas, which can be helpful in providing some kinds of avoidable back injuries. It’s also a good idea to be reasonable about weight — look at your job role, and see what weight has been listed in human resources materials. Don’t exceed that weight if it feels unsafe, even have someone is suggesting that you should. Being safe on the job means advocating for yourself and using good judgment and common sense — and there is no replacement for that — not even a back brace.
About Full Steam Staffing
Full Steam Staffing is a full-service staffing agency in Ontario, California focused on providing clerical and light industrial staffing solutions to manufacturers, distribution centers and other organizations that need qualified, reliable workers. If you are currently looking to hire and grow your workforce, contact our team of skilled recruiters today!