How to Lift Heavy Items Safely
A lifting injury is one of the most common ways people get injured at work, but most lifting injuries can be prevented by using the right technique. Lifting something may seem like a no-brainer, but lifting heavy or bulky items safely requires technique, concentration and the ability to plan ahead.
Here are a few key steps you’ll need to take to lift items safely throughout the day:
- Prepare your footing: Before you lift an object, position your feet in a wide stance and make sure your feet are solidly grounded to reduce the likelihood of losing your balance.
- Plan ahead: As you go through the movements of your job, think about how you are positioning yourself. If you need to travel with a heavy object, plan your path ahead of time. Determine where you will place the object and what route you will take to get there.
- How to lift an object from the ground: When you’re picking up an object, it may be tempting to bend at the waist. Don’t do this, as you will risk an injury. Instead, if you have to stoop low to pick something up, bend using your knees and hips. Let your leg muscles do most of the work as you lift the item and as you place it down.
- How to lift an object from a counter: When picking an object up from a table, counter or shelf, slide the object to the edge and lift it up, keeping the item close to your body.
- Know when to ask for help: If an object is extremely heavy or difficult to hold, don’t attempt to lift the item by yourself and risk injury. Instead, ask for help.
- When you lift heavy objects, do you use safe lifting practices?
- Is there a specific heavy lifting practice you don’t currently practice that you should start to practice?