September 8, 2020

Lifting Safety: LWCC Has Your Back

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From farms and construction sites to manufacturing plants and offices, many jobs involve lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying heavy items. Whether you’re loading a five-gallon water jug onto the cooler or tossing hay bales on the truck, manual lifting is a feature of many daily work tasks.

You’re probably familiar with the admonition to “lift with your knees,” but do you really know what that means? Regardless of time spent in the gym or perceived strength, a lot of people don't know how to protect their backs and joints from injury while lifting heavy objects.

Twenty-six percent of all reported workplace injury claims are related to handling and lifting, LWCC statistics show. Here are some tips on how to lift and transport heavy objects safely:

  • Use mechanical equipment to move items whenever possible
  • Reduce the weight of the items to be lifted or lift items one at a time
  • Seek assistance from your fellow employees (team lift) to move heavy or bulky items
  • Stay physically fit and practice proper back care
  • Turn on lights and clear debris, obstructions, and other tripping hazards from your path

Next, before you reach for that box, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How heavy is the item you are lifting? Most people can safely handle 30-50 pounds.
  • Is it possible to break down the item into smaller packages to reduce the size and weight?
  • Are there handholds available for a firm and comfortable grip?
  • Does the load you are lifting block your field of vision while carrying it? If so, ask a colleague to help.

Once you’ve ensured an item is safe for you to carry, it’s time to lift. Make sure to bend your knees while keeping your back straight, head up, and abdominal muscles engaged. Keep the load close to your body and straighten your legs to stand.

Most important, don’t be a hero! If an item is too heavy, large, or awkward for you to lift on your own, ask a teammate for help. Your back will thank you tomorrow!

See our lifting safety informational graphic for more tips on how to reduce lifting injuries in the workplace.

LIFTING SAFETY GUIDE

LWCC's Safety Services

LWCC is committed to a safe and productive work environment. A variety of safety resources are available to our policyholders free of charge including our experienced team of Consultants on Call, online trainings, sample forms and programs, and much more.

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