Ballistic Lifting

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Definition - What does Ballistic Lifting mean?

Ballistic lifting refers to a lifting technique that involves the biomechanical motion of executing sustained physical force necessary to assist the transfer between an opposing load-bearing weight (i.e., heavy object) and the subject performing the task. Forceful exertion is a component of ballistic lifting where emphasis placed on the duration, frequency, and intensity of essential job tasks carries physiological implications that can compromise health.

SureHire explains Ballistic Lifting

Proper lifting techniques are critical components in fostering a climate of health and safety, underpinning debilitating variables including awkward posture, cumbersome load(s), contact stresses, and repetitive movements as causal factors linked to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Since ballistic lifting uses dynamic force(s), bending the legs and maintaining immediate contact with the object at the center of gravity (midsection) parallel to the ground for equilibrium (stability) is vital to avoid a risk of injury. However, individuals should exercise caution before lifting heavy objects by assessing the situation to facilitate load potential, for example, capitalizing on safety grips or engaging a colleague to assist a lift for an equal distribution of weight.

The demographics of a workforce are composed of individuals with distinctive capacities to withstand the forces of physical demands placed on joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons, exacerbating the morbidity rate of MSD-related cases over time. Continual lifting inside the 8-hour work shift without intervals for breaks to recuperate from strenuous activity can lead to chronic fatigue or muscle strains, thus negating the force-to-load ratio to apply leverage during ballistic lifts. Recognizing symptoms such as persistent back pain, stiffness, and inflammation/swelling can impose physical constraints that can bar an individual’s ability to demonstrate correct ballistic lifting techniques.

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