Back injuries are costly. Workers pay the highest price, enduring pain and coping with disabling effects. The employer pays too, for workers' compensation claims, increased insurance rates, and lost productivity. Because many back injuries are caused by lifting, the costs can be reduced by showing workers how to avoid lifting mistakes. COMMON LIFTING MISTAKES Common back disorders are likely to be caused by improper lifting performed over a period of time. Picking up rebar, bags of cement, or other heavy loads the wrong way, day after day, increases the chances for injury even though pain may not set in for years. LIFTING THE RIGHT WAY Use a shoulder-width, balanced stance with one foot ahead of the other. Keep the lower back in its normal arched position while lifting and bring the load as close to the body as possible.