Proper Lifting Techniques Every Worker Should Know About

Proper lifting techniques should be stressed and imparted to workers by all organizations. Unfortunately, they are mostly overlooked. Most people are working to meet deadlines, and in an attempt to finish work quickly, they often end up lifting heavy objects in unsafe ways, leading to serious injuries.

Back injuries from dangerous lifting practices are one of the leading causes that people miss work days. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, injuries and health problems caused due to overexertion from lowering or lifting resulted in 12 missed work days on average, and has been found to be the fifth highest rate per 10,000 full-time workers. Educating workers about proper lifting techniques is of paramount importance, even in industries where lifting heavy objects is not required.

Safe Lifting Techniques

Planning and prevention are the best solutions for mitigating risks in the workplace. With proper training pertaining to the usage of safe lifting techniques, organizations can greatly reduce the susceptibility of back and lifting injuries.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to properly lift light and heavy objects to avoid sustaining an injury:

  • Assess the object you are about to lift, as well as where you will be carrying it. Determine how heavy it is, and whether you are capable of lifting it by yourself.
  • Check the route to the destination to drop off the object beforehand. Make sure there is not any debris or trip hazards in your way.
  • To lift the object safely, get as close to it as possible, as that will put less strain on your body.
  • With your feet shoulder-width apart, bend down towards the object. Put one foot slightly ahead of the other for better balance as you go down to pick the object.
  • Your back should be at the right angle, shoulders back, chest out, and look straight ahead. This will allow you to keep your upper back straight with a little arch to the lower side to properly distribute the weight.
  • Always use your hips and legs to lower yourself instead of bending at the waist. The latter can put strain on your back immediately when you lift the object.
  • Get a firm, comfortable grip of the object, focus on keeping your back straight, and tighten your core as you slowly pull up the object using your hips and legs only. Keep the object close to your body.
  • Take small steps to move forward, as it will allow you have good balance.
  • When you reach the destination, slowly squat down with your back straight and knees bent and set down the load carefully.

A good way to ensure you are lifting objects in a proper way to is to practice doing it a few times under supervision. After a few tries, you will realize that the right away is also the easiest way to lift objects, as it puts minimum strain on your body.  Instructions and awareness posters with visuals should be posted in key areas of the organization to ensure all workers understand the importance of proper lifting techniques.

Suburban Insurance Agencies, Inc. is a leading distributor of fully integrated risk management services to the small & middle market.  At SIA, we take a proactive approach to insurance through our Property & Casualty Insurance system and work with business in all industries including construction, manufacturing, wholesale/distribution and much more.   To get more information on techniques for mitigating risks related to worker injury, contact or office today at (630) 325-4000 to speak with an experienced agent.

Lifting Technique


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