So I’m reading a tweet today from a cable technician that is involved in a pretty big project. He says he has over 500 terminations to make on Cat 6 cable in the next week or so. I was thinking to myself about some of the similar jobs I have been on and immediately thought about all the bending over the tech will be doing during the job. Depending on the situation, terminating usually involves a lot of bending and stooping to get to the outlets you are working on. Over a period of time this keep reap havoc on the back if not performed correctly and early in your technician career. You probably have heard it before as it relates to lifting, but just kneeling or stooping down if not done properly, can be just as bad. This is something obviously you will not be thinking about, especially when you are trying to get the job done. It probably wouldn’t affect you too much early in your career either. Over a long period of time though, the continuous kneeling will cause problems.
Using the tips below will benefit you in the long run:
- When bending down keep your feet spread about shoulder width
- Bend at your knees and hips. DO NOT BEND AT YOUR WAIST!
- Steady yourself with one hand on something sturdy when possible
- Try to make it one continuous motion using the entire body when going down
- When standing up use your legs and brace yourself on something if possible
- Staying in good shape will help your back a lot
This type of movement is typical for a technician so the more you think about it before kneeling the longer you will last at it. Your back will thank you when you get older.
One final note, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries account for one out of every five workplace injuries.