Lifting Guide

Checking the Object

  • Pushing the load lightly will enable you to see how easily it moves to determine whether you can lift it by yourself or will need help.
  • Always remember that a smaller package does not always mean a lighter weight.

Packing Correctly?

  • Making sure that the weight of the load is evenly balanced will make lifting it a lot easier. It will also ensure that it does not move around when being carried.
  • Any loose pieces inside the box could cause accidents if the box becomes unbalanced.

Handling the Load?

  • Make sure that you can get a good grip on the package before you lift it.

Reaching the Load?

  • Make sure you can get as close as you can to anything you need to lift.
  • Slide the load towards you if you are over stretching to get to it
  • Don’t arch your back avoid reaching out for an object at all times if you can.
  • Do the work with your legs and your arms and not your back.

Pick up the object?

  • Slow and smooth movements always work best. Hurrying will inevitably cause accidents and could damage your back.
  • With your body facing the object you should lift it. Twisting while lifting can strain your back.
  • Keep any load close to your body. Reaching out to lift or carry an object can hurt your back.
  • “Lifting with your legs” should be done only when you can straddle the load. To lift with your legs, bend your knees, not your back, to pick up the load. Keep your back straight.
  • Try to carry the load in the space between your shoulder and your waist. This puts less strain on your back muscles.

How can I avoid back injuries?

  • Pace yourself. Take many small breaks between any lifts you have to do.
  • Don’t ever try to lift something too heavy for you.
  • Make sure you have enough room to lift anything safely by clearing the area.
  • Look around before you lift, and look around as you carry. Make sure you can see where you are walking.
  • Remove any wires, obstacles or things in the way before moving the object.
  • Avoid walking on slippery, uneven surfaces while carrying anything.
  • Don’t rely on a back belt to protect you. It hasn’t been proven that back belts can protect you from back injury.
  • Get extra help before you try to lift a heavy load from someone else. Use a dolly or a forklift if you need to.

More importantly than any of the above information if lifting something is putting you in any danger do not do it. Damaging your back could lead to a lifetime of problems and it is better to spend a few minutes being safe to ensure no accidents occur.

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