If you don’t lift a heavy object correctly you can end up pulling muscles or even worse, you may suffer long-term damage to your back or upper limbs. So it’s important that if your job involves lifting, you know how to do it properly. The HSE have put together a handy guide downloadable guide titled ‘Making the best use of lifting and handling aids‘.
Manual handling can be described as lowering, lifting, pulling, pushing, holding, restraining, carrying, throwing or handling. 75% of injuries caused by manual lifting could be prevented. In the food and drinks industry, manual handling and lifting causes 30% of all acute injuries.
How to Lift Heavy Objects Safely:
- Make sure you are standing directly in front of the item you wish to lift
- Check if the item has handles which you could use
- Know where you are taking the object before you begin.
- Position your feet evenly (shoulder width apart)
- Keep your back straight and stand up tall
- Tighten your stomach muscles
- Squat to the floor by bending your knees- DO NOT move your upper body
- Take hold of the object firmly with both hands
- Distribute the weight evenly – make sure you are not unbalanced
- Keeping the object close to your body, begin to stand up by straightening your legs (This will use your leg muscles and shouldn’t put strain on other areas)
- Stand up slowly. Do not move quickly or jerk when doing this
- You can now walk with the object (but be careful not to twist your body unnecessarily). Take small steps if possible.
- If you are carrying a large object which restricts your view, ask if someone can guide you. This will prevent you from tripping or bumping into objects
- When placing the item down, bend your legs
- Remember to keep your back straight as you bend down again
- Be careful to lower each side of the object to the floor separately- this will avoid trapping your fingers under the weight
To view Western Industrial Products, full range of Lifting and Handling equipment, please visit the Western Industrial Products website.
Article compiled by: Laura Pay-Savage
Credits: HSE, http://www.workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk/ Susan Hunt MA