Thousands of injuries occur each year due to poor lifting techniques. This statistic is especially true for workers in warehouse environments where they are supposed to lift heavy equipment. Accidents and injuries can be easily avoided by educating the staff on lifting techniques.
The good news is that learning correct lifting techniques is not difficult. Many of the steps are common sense, and with practice it can become a habit. Here are some of the lifting techniques that can help avoid injuries
Lifting Safety: Tips To Help Prevent Injuries
1. Lower down and then adjust
If you need to position the load accurately, put it down first, then slide it in the desired position. Do not make adjustments while carrying the load.
2. Know your limits
Do not handle or lift more than what is manageable for you. There is a big difference between what one can lift and what one can safely and easily lift.
3. Try to move smoothly while carrying the weight
Do not snatch or jerk the load, as this can make it difficult for you to keep yourself in control and can increase the risk of injury.
4. Keep your head up
Keep your head up while you lift the weight. Look ahead, not down at the load once it is held securely.
5. Do not twist
Avoid leaning sideways or twisting your back while your back is bent. Keep both your shoulders leveled. Turn by moving your feet as it is better than twisting your body and lifting the weight.
6. Do not further flex the back while you lift the load
The possibility of bending further increases when the legs begin to get straightened before you start to raise the load.
7. Do not bend your back
Slightly bending of the back, knees and the hips in the beginning of the lift is better than either fully bending the back or fully bending the hip and the knee.
8. Make sure that you get a good hold on the load
Wherever possible, hold the load close to your body. This may be a preferred option than holding it tightly with only your hands.
9. Try to achieve a stable position
For a better stability, move the feet when you begin to lift the load. Wearing tight clothing or footwear that is misfit, such as flip flops or heels can make this even more difficult.
10. Keep the load close to your waist
While lifting, try to have the load close to the waist. This reduces the load on the spine and spinal muscles.
11. Plan the lift
Think before you lift. Where do you plan to place the load? Use right handling aids whenever possible. Will help be needed in lifting the load? Remove the obstacles such as discarded wrapping materials. For taller lifts, for example, from ground to the shoulder height, rest the load in the mid way on a bench or a table to change the grip on it.
Improper lifting of heavy objects can cause serious damage. Considering how easy it is for employers to educate and enforce proper lifting techniques, implementing safe lifting at work should be a no-brainer. Not implementing safe work practices leads to unnecessary accidents, rising insurance premiums, and ultimately the health and vitality of your workforce gets affected