Farming is a very physical occupation and workers can injure themselves by lifting heavy loads such as chemicals, fertilizer, hay bales, calves, buckets, equipment, and also while handling animals. Most agricultural manual handling injuries involve the back and weight-bearing joints and the risk of injury can be minimized by good lifting techniques and safe working habits. Use mechanical lifting aids or get help to lift and carry heavy loads whenever possible.
Back issues are one of the most common disabling conditions discussed with Mainers working in the agricultural field. While back problems are challenging, they can be managed.
BACK on the Farm, BACK in the Saddle: A Guide to Back Health in Agriculture (PDF) — This 21-page booklet discusses many aspects of back problems in agricultural settings, including:
- types of back problems,
- causes of back problems,
- preventing back problems,
- managing back problems, and
- treatment for back problems.