Try Out These Safe Lifting Techniques

Practice safe lifting techniques to reduce the chance of a workplace injury.

Lifting and handling materials is common in the workplace, however more than 700 back injuries occur every day as a result of improper lifting practices.  In fact, back injuries account for over 25% of all lost-time injuries.  The best way to avoid this risk is by teaching your employees the four steps of safe lifting and handling.  Here’s what you need to know about safe lifting techniques.

1) Planning

During the planning stage, you should assess the size of the load and ensure that it is not too heavy or bulky for you to lift alone.  If the load is too large, then you should seek assistance.  Then, you should check to make sure that your route is free of any obstacles.  Next, you should acquire the necessary protective equipment such as gloves, safety shoes, a back belt, and so on.  Finally, you should check the load for dangers such as protruding nails, splinters, and rough edges.  Keep in mind that it’s always safer to use mechanical lifting devices when possible.

2) Lifting

After the planning stage, it’s time to execute the lift.  Start by getting as close to the load as possible.  Firmly plant your feet about shoulder-width apart to maintain balance.  Keep your back straight and your stomach muscles tight and you bend at the knees and lift with your legs.  Lift slowly in a smooth motion, making sure not to twist your body.  When turning, use your whole body and shift your feet first.

3) Carrying

As you carry the load, be sure to hold it close to your body.  Be careful to watch where you are walking and never carry something so large that it obstructs your view.  As you transport the load, make sure you keep your back straight, your stomach muscles tight, and remember to turn with your feet not your back.  Finally, use extra caution when moving up or down the stairs.

4) Lowering

When lowering the load, it is once again important to keep your back straight and the load close to your body.  You should squat, bending at your knees to bring the load to the ground.  Do not stretch or overreach; place the object down and then slide it into place.  When placing the load on the ground, make sure that your fingers and toes are clear before releasing your hold.

Follow these four steps to ensure that your employees are practicing safe lifting techniques.  Want another way to ensure that your employees stay place in the workplace?  Then it’s important for you to have the proper workers compensation insurance in place.  For assistance with your business’s coverage needs, turn to the experts at PMC Insurance Group.  Contact us today to learn more about getting competitive coverage for your small business clients.