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September Safety Tip

Safe Lifting

Lifting is something that is a part of most jobs.  Whether we are moving a heavy box of materials or a stack of papers, long-term lifting is strenuous on the body and can cause aches and pains.  In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, back and lifting injuries are the leading cause of missed workdays – an average of 12 days away from work.  This is why it is so important to use lift assist equipment like pulleys or hand trucks when available.  When you do not have these tools on hand or they are not practical, then it is important to use proper lifting techniques to reduce your chance for injury.

Prevention and planning are perfect solutions for most hazard abatement in the workplace.  With proper safety training, implementation of safe lifting techniques, and the use of the following safe lifting tips, you should be able to greatly reduce the risk of back and lifting injuries.

  • Before lifting, assess what you are lifting and where it is going. Recognize how heavy the object is and determine if you can lift it by yourself, or if you need assistance.  Never hesitate to ask for help if it is too heavy.
  • Before lifting, check your pathway to your final destination. There should not be any trip hazards or debris in your path.
  • Never hold your breath while you lift an object. Exhale out when performing the lift.
  • When carrying an object, do not bend or twist at the waist. If you need to turn, turn slowly with your feet first.
  • Do not use a partial grip on an object, always use two hands.
  • Do not obstruct your vision with an object you are carrying.
  • Never forget to wear your personal protective equipment, such as gloves for grip or shoulder pads (if needed) to cushion the load.