You are here

Workplace Safety: Lifting/Material Handling

LIFTING / MATERIAL HANDLING


Lifting heavy items is one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 36 percent of injuries involving missed workdays were the result of shoulder and back injuries. Overexertion and cumulative trauma were the biggest factors in these injuries.

PREPARATION

  • Size up the load. Do not lift if too heavy, slippery, hot or unevenly balanced.
  • Limit lifting heavy loads of 35lbs or more by hand. 
  • Use the “buddy system” to team lift or material handling equipment.
  • Clear the path of objects. 
  • Wear work gloves to prevent injury from staples or splinters.

PROPER LIFTING TECHNIQUES

  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Limit the number of items you carry. Balance the load evenly.
  • Avoid awkward postures; don’t over-reach when lifting.
  • No heavy load above your waist.

CARRYING THE LOAD

  • Make certain you can see over the load.
  • Take small steps.  Avoid turning or twisting.
  • Keep the load directly in front of your body.
  • When using mechanical devises, push the load rather than pull the load. Use your body weight and legs to push the load.

PROPER UNLOADING

  • Keep back straight; squat down with the load.
  • Be careful of your fingers.

Contact the RPS Regency loss control team for more information:

Nathan Tipton | Risk Control Consultant | 517.664.2743 o | 248.579.9784 c | nathan_tipton@rpsins.com

Patrick Dunn | Risk Control Consultant | 517.664.2748 o | 616.325.4392 c | patrick_dunn@rpsins.com