Before the lift
- When possible, use machines or tools like forklifts, dollies or carts to lift or move loads. Make sure you are fully trained on proper use and procedures.
- Drop loads off as close as possible to where they’re needed.
- Check the weight of the load so you can prepare to lift properly.
- Look for ways to break down big loads into smaller, more manageable loads
- Ask others to assist in moving or lifting loads so that the weight is distributed.
- Plan your route to minimize the distance you have to carry the load.
- Create a place to set the load down.
- Clear the walking path of trip hazards and obstacles. Use gravel to make ramps over footings or concrete pad edges.
- Wear proper protective equipment for the task such as hardhats, gloves, goggles, or work boots.
- Ensure overhead lighting is sufficient for optimal visibility.
During the lift
- Do not reach to retrieve heavy objects stored up high. Use a stable platform or step stool.
- No matter how small the load, take the time to get your body in the proper position for stability and weight distribution.
- Face the object to be lifted, and keep your back as straight as possible by bending and using your legs for lifting power.
- Spread your feet to maintain good balance.
- Grasp the load by handles or good handholds.
- Keep your head up, chin out.
- Lift smoothly without jerking.
Carrying the load
- Make sure that you can see around the load.
- Turn your body as a unit to avoid twisting at the waist.
- Keep the load close to your body. Shift your feet and take small steps in the direction you want to go.
- Take a break if you get tired.
- Find a table or sawhorse to support the load if a new grip needs to be found.
Lowering the load
- Slowly lower the load.
- Do not drop the load.
- Face the location where you want to place the load.
- Use proper form and technique:
-Do not twist
-Bend at the knees, not at the back
-Keep the load close to the body
-Squat to set the load down
-Stand up slowly
There are several things you can do to make sure your body is well equipped to handle and recover from lifting activities.
- Get proper rest and relaxation during non-working hours to avoid fatigue.
- Exercise regularly and maintain good physical condition to strengthen muscles and promote cardiovascular health.
- Drink plenty of water and perform simple stretching exercises before and after lifting to promote flexibility.
- When an injury does occur, consult with your doctor to determine the best course of action for treatment and recovery.