Lifting Heavy Objects

Lifting at home and at work

Know the risk points and your limits. Awkward shapes and sizes, lifting overhead, and heavy weights all come with higher incidence of injury. Not sure on the weight? Try pushing it on the ground first to gauge its weight. It’s better to ask for help, or use a dolly, when it’s beyond something you can safely lift.

Is it packed right?

A balanced load makes for safer lifting. When things shift, it’s easier to lose your grip and the box fall.

Take your time

Rushing doesn’t allow enough time to evaluate the lift and use good form. Slow, smooth lifting protects muscles from strain.

Get close

Reaching and lifting are not a good combination. Keep your center of gravity close to the object you are lifting. As you carry the object, keep it as close to the center of your body as possible.

Posture is everything

Feet shoulder width apart, bend at the knees to straddle the load, flex your midsection, and lift with your legs.

Where to cheat with posture

If you are lifting a light object, you don’t need the same lifting technique as with mid-weight and heavy objects. Hold on to something sturdy for support, slightly bend one knee, lean over and allow your other leg to rise slightly.

Save the twist for the dance floor

Lifting and twisting often result in injury and increased strain on the back. Your solution: point your toes and pivot your body as a unit, rather than turning at the waist.

A back belt won’t save you

It hasn’t been proven that back belts can protect you from injury.

When you have to lift overhead

Get close to where the box is going, take a wide stance, and flex your midsection as you lift upwards. Avoid straightening your arms. If you can’t get the box to where it needs to go while keeping your arms bent, then it’s time to get a sturdy step ladder.

Minnesota Occupational Health is the leading provider of occupational health services in the Upper Midwest. To learn more, please contact us.

By |January 13th, 2015|Safety Guide|Comments Off on Lifting Heavy Objects