There will always be a time when you need to lift something during the day. It can be a box of supplies, a pile of folders, furniture or a piano. It is part of our day-to-day activities at work and though it may seem harmless and safe, there are injuries sustained from prolonged improper lifting.
A major one is joint injury where bones suffer too much friction while lifting heavy items. The joints experience excessive strain, thus irritating the tissues. As a result, it can cause the joints to lock up and cause permanent damage.
Another effect of bad lifting is disc injury. Continual practice of improper lifting can cause the discs or cushions between our vertebrae to shift out of their positions or break. Breaking can cause rupture and extreme pain to the indivudal.
Third is the muscle injury. If your muscles are too stressed, this will cause strain and get you injured. It can hurt the lower back muscles and cause severe pain.
When lifting, proper techniques must be used to ensure that these risks are avoided. Good lifting practices can also guarantee efficiency at work since the pain may be gradual but prolonged.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) aims to create awareness and assist workers in the proper lifting of objects. NIOSH released a new and free mobile app specifically designed to promote proper lifting techniques and guide workers on what they need to do.
Based on the international standard for safe lifting indicated in the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation (RNLE), the app called NLE Calc offers a user-friendly and effective platform for workers to use. The primary goal is to provide help in work industries that require constant lifting of objects such as in retail, manufacturing and healthcare.
According to NIOSH, the key benefits of the NLE Calc includes:
- Promotion of better musculoskeletal health
- Calculation of the composite lifting index (CLI)
- Enhanced awareness of job responsibilities and risks
- Utilization of approved equations such as the NLE or NIOSH Lifting Equation
- Identify potential risks of lifting in health
The NLE Calc can be downloaded for free both for Android and iOS. Users can refer to the manual on how to effectively use the app to their greater benefit.
The NLE Calc app includes a summary of studies explaining the ideal composite lifting index and the various health risks of improper lifting. Users can refer to the documents to check their results and seek interpretation. NIOSH researchers indicate that an ideal composite lifting index must be lower than 1.0 for single and multiple lifting tasks.