Safety Tips - Reduce the Risk of Lifting Injuries

Safety Tips Brought to you by ALCA - Reduce the Risk of Lifting Injuries

Lifting injuries are common

  • Lifting or moving heavy materials — as well as working with a shovel — can result in injury to your back, shoulders, knees, or other body parts.
  • Heavy materials may include trees, shrubs, and other plant material; cement blocks; flagstone; and bags of fertilizer or seed, to name a few.
  • Lifting-related injuries can be costly, painful, and last a lifetime. But you CAN reduce your risk of injury.

Lifting Safety Tips

  • Use mechanical lifting devices, such as forklifts, skid-steer loaders, and overhead cranes, when available.
  • Make use of manual lifting aids, such as dollies or hand trucks.
  • Know when to ask for help. If you suspect a load weighs 50 pounds or more, do NOT lift it by yourself. You may also need assistance with lighter loads, particularly those that are bulky.
  • Stay in good physical shape. Performing stretching exercises before starting work is one technique to help loosen your muscles.
  • Avoid prolonged periods of lifting. Be sure to take breaks. Alternate between lifting and non-lifting tasks.

Proper Lifting Techniques 

  • Size up the load to see if you will need help. Slide loads when possible.
  • Make sure you are wearing sturdy boots or shoes with   nonslip soles.
  • Get a firm footing. Then part your feet and put one foot slightly in front of the other.
  • Keep the load close to your body and directly in front of you.
  • Keep your back as straight as possible. Bend your knees & lift with your legs, when possible.
  • Get a good grip on the object. Use handles, when possible, and make sure gloves fit properly. Avoid lifting loads higher than chest high.
  • Don’t toss objects that weigh more than five pounds.
  • Lift in a smooth, controlled manner. Don’t jerk the load or twist your body.