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11. Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials … essential tips • Plan the lift - gauge the weight - adjust the load or get help • Avoid awkward lifting postures • Use your body efficiently • Slide materials or use a cart • Avoid the use of back-belts • Wear safe and supportive footwear You’re no Super person
Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials … gauge and adjust the load Shuffling a stacked carton to gauge the weight Using your foot to slide a carton on the floor to gauge the weight If you’re not familiar with the materials, slide the item around a bit to get a sense of the weight before lifting. If it appears to be too heavy, get some help. If it’s a problem that you deal with regularly, contact the supplier to set weight limits on the contents.
Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials … avoid awkward lifting postures Avoid bending your back to lift heavy items! Avoid relying on your arms and shoulders to lift heavy items!
Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials … use your body efficiently 1. Approach the item from the front, get close and straddle the load. Spread you feet apart and squat or get down on one knee as needed. 2. Bend at your knees and hips, keeping your back straight. Start by using the large muscles of your legs to elevate the load and then use your arms and upper body to stabilize it. Keep the lift smooth and gradual!
Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials … use your body efficiently Clea r Pat 3. When moving or placing the load, move with your feet. Avoid planting your feet when turning since this puts undue pressure on your knees and requires you to twist with your hips and back. h 4. When carrying the load, grip it with both hands holding the load close to your body at about waist height and watch for obstacles in your path.
Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials. . . recap of lifting techniques Lift with your legs. Bend with your knees not with your back. Turn with your feet -don’t twist your knees, hips, or back. Hold the load close in and keep your back straight.
Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials … lowering and placing the load When lowering and placing the load, do the reverse of lifting 1. Get close to the position where you need to place the load 2. Move the load by turning with your feet- don’t twist 3. Lower the load with the strength of your arms and legs 4. Bend at the knees keeping your back straight as you place the load Keep the motions smooth and gradual!
Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials … slide heavy items or use a cart If your work involves a lot of lifting, carrying and placing heavy items, try using tables that would allow you to slide materials rather than lifting them. Also try to use mobile carts or mobile tables to help you move materials around whenever possible. It beats bearing the load with your body all day!
Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials … avoid using back-belts Back belts may feel supportive but studies have shown that workers who wear them tend to be more prone to upper back strains and sprains. Why you ask? They give you a false sense of security and you’re more likely to overexert when lifting and moving heavy items. Second, the rigid support they provide to your stomach and back can reduce your muscle tone over time… what you don’t use you lose. When these muscles are weakened, you are more prone to injure your back. You’re no super person!
Lifting & Lowering Heavy Materials … wear the right footwear In a workplace that involves a lot of lifting and moving of heavy items the most common injuries are often slips and falls, followed closely by impact injuries to the feet- i. e. , dropping item on foot, running over foot with cart. Many slips, falls and impact injuries can be avoided by wearing safe and supportive footwear while on the job. Save the sneakers and sandals for the trip home and get home safely!