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    Workplace Safety Topic


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    Every industry, from child care to construction, has lifting-related hazards. Any action where a person is required to manually move something by lifting, pushing or pulling can cause injuries to numerous parts of the body. But lifting will remain a necessary task in many jobs, so the key is learning proper technique so that a quick task doesn’t result in weeks or years of pain.

    Look around your workplace. Are people moving items manually? Are they lifting patients, pushing carts or pulling product from shelves? Are they carrying items from one location to another? Do they load customers’ vehicles? Learn more about proper lifting and see how you can help lighten the load.

    Getting Started:

    There are several safe lifting techniques detailed in the resources below. This basic technique is a great one to start with – use it for objects small enough to straddle where you have enough room to use a wide stance:

    pile of boxes

    1. Position yourself close to the object.
    2. Stand with a wide stance; put one foot forward and to the side of the object.
    3. Keep your back straight, push your buttocks out, and use your legs and hips to lower yourself down to the object.
    4. Move the load as close to you as possible.
    5. If the box has handles, grasp the handles firmly and go to step 9.
    6. Put the hand that is on the same side of your body as the forward foot on the side of the object furthest from you.
    7. Put the other hand on the side of the object closest to you. Your hands should be on opposite corners of the object.
    8. Grasp the object firmly with both hands.
    9. Prepare for the lift; look forward.
    10. Lift upward following your head and shoulders. Hold the load close to your body. Lift by extending your legs with your back straight, your buttocks out, and breathe out as you lift.

    If you are doing this lift correctly, your head will lift up first, followed by your straight back. If your hips come up first and you must bend your back as you straighten up, you are doing this lift incorrectly.