Environmental Health & Safety

Back Injury Prevention

Back injuries are considered one of the nation’s most common workplace safety concerns. Approximately 80-90% of the population is expected to experience low back pain sometime in their lifetime. Back injury prevention involves identifying and evaluating potential physical risk factors and developing and implementing controls to minimize exposure.

Physical risk factors include manual material handling such as lifting, lowering, carrying, and pushing equipment, tools, materials, and supplies.

Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) conducts, upon request, material handling evaluations and provides recommendations such as equipment, modifying work practices, and employee training.


Employees regularly lifting more than 20 pounds should receive training on safe lifting techniques. Supervisors can use the resources below to provide the training or contact OH&S to schedule a class.


PowerPoint Presentation: Back Injury Prevention

Fact Sheet: Back Basics: An Ounce of Prevention

DOSH Stretch and Flex Poster

Check out a Video:

#OHS-2 "Avoiding Back Pain"
#OHS-3 "Back-Wise: Your Back in Balance"
#OHS-4 "The Last Straw: A Guide to Manual Material Handling"

Safety Policies and Procedures Manual: Back Injury Prevention

Contact Us


Environmental Health & Safety, PO Box 641172, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1172, 509-335-3041, Contact Us