Text equivalent of “Back Injury Prevention Tips”

Protecting the back is one of the most important things a farmer can do to stay productive on the farm. Many injuries/conditions develop over time, so establishing good habits will preserve back health. Keep these best practices in mind.

Lifting or Carrying

  • Use help and lighten loads—make more trips.
  • Know the destination and have a clear path before lifting.
  • Bend at the knees, not at the back—carry objects close to the body, and rotate body by moving feet.
  • Use equipment to move items long distances.

Working with Livestock

  • Have assistance.
  • Use animal handling equipment (squeeze chutes, handling pens, transportation devices).
  • Be careful not to trip over shorter animals (young pigs, etc.).
  • Avoid falls from horses.

Completing Maintenance/Shop Tasks

  • Minimize bending and stooping—position workstations at the proper height.
  • Store frequently used parts/tools between waist and shoulder height.
  • Use anti‐fatigue mats in areas where you stand for long periods of time.
  • Use long‐handled tools to increase leverage and reduce the need to bend/reach.

Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls

  • Practice good housekeeping around the farm.
  • Complete work at ground level whenever possible.
  • Maintain three points of contact when climbing.
  • Ensure that work areas are well‐lit.
  • Wear correct footwear for the job and conditions.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Use handrails.
  • Open gates rather than climb over them.

Operating Farm Equipment

  • Use seating that provides adequate support—and position it to easily reach controls.
  • Monitor towed implements by using mirrors or camera systems.
  • Use automatic gate openers and quick hitches.
  • Step down from equipment rather than jumping off.
  • Be aware of the effects of whole-body vibration.

This material was produced under a Susan Harwood Training Grant (SH‐05172‐SH9) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U. S. Government.

The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS)
8342 NICC Drive, Peosta, IA 52068. 888-844-6322. www.necasag.org. @necasag

[Logo: The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.]