Did you know you may be at risk for serious injury if you do not lift correctly? Improper lifting may cause back injuries that can take months or even years to heal. Sometimes the injuries are disabling or permanent. This can be prevented if you learn to lift correctly.
Preparing to Lift
If the load looks too heavy, do not lift it by yourself. Ask for assistance and use mechanical aids when possible. Be sure to wear safety shoes in case you drop something. If the object has rough or sharp edges, wear properly fitting work gloves that are in good condition. This will help you to get a better grip as well as protect your hands.
Making the Lift
Crouch down with the load between your legs and get a good grip on the object. As you stand up, lift with your legs, keeping your back vertical and the load as close to your body as possible. If you have to place the load to your left or to your right, do not twist your body — move your feet instead. To lower a load, simply reverse the knees bent/back vertical procedure.
- Do not lift more than you can handle. Ask for help with heavy loads and use mechanical aids when possible.
- Wear safety shoes.
- If the object is rough or sharp, wear gloves.
- Lift with your legs and not your back.
- Keep the load close to your body.
- Do not twist your body when placing a load to one side or the other. Move your feet instead.
- When it comes to lifting, do not break your back. Instead, lift right and give your back a break.