Lifting heavy or awkward loads can be a part of everyday life at home or in your work place. Most jobs require you to carry out manual tasks, whether is involves packing shelves, moving heavy objects or entering data on a computer. Christmas is just around the corner and getting out that Christmas tree from the back of the garage is a challenge, is it not? So how do you protect yourself from injury?
Often risk factors can be removed or reduced, for example a well-designed work space, regular breaks and maintaining an adequate level of fitness for the tasks demanded, can significantly reduce your risk of injury. But what if you just must perform a lifting task?
10 tips to reduce your risk of injury:
- If the load is not light enough to lift alone, always grab an extra pair of hands or use a lifting device (where applicable).
- Stand with your feet spaced shoulder width apart.
Never bend forward to lift a heavy object, squat down in front of it, keeping your feet and trunk pointing towards the object.
- Hug the object close to your body, keeping your back as straight as possible.
- Straighten through your hips and knees to lift.
- Only change direction once you have lifted your object by stepping your feet around, keeping your shoulders in line with your hips. Never twist and turn.
- Never lift a heavy object above shoulder height. Also store heavy objects in the bottom cupboards, not overhead.
- Avoid twisting or turning when lifting.
- Place the object down by squatting through your hips and knees, do not bend forward through your back.
- Always try to push rather than pull a load.