Proper Lifting Techniques

Forklifts are a thing of beauty in a warehouse. They can raise extremely heavy loads to great heights with no more effort than it takes to press a button. However, there are still some smaller items in a warehouse which need to be lifted by hand because they are too small for a forklift or do not need to travel far enough to warrant the use of a forklift. For these items, it is important that your warehouse employees know the proper lifting techniques to avoid injury while lifting.

Use Equipment when You Can. If it is possible to lift an item with the help of equipment, by all means do so. That is the reason the lifting equipment is there. There is not point for employees to strain themselves when there is an easier way for them to get the job accomplished. For moving smaller items, a cart or a dolly are great aids.

Know Your Limits. Employees should know which items are too heavy for them to lift and when is a good time to stop trying to lift them. The human body can only take so much strain, and after a while it will simply give out. It is better to be proactive and not try to handle items which are too heavy by hand.

Bend at the Knees. If the item being lifted is on the ground, the lifter should get down to the item’s level. Do not bend at the waist.

Keep a Straight Back. It does not matter where the item is located, the lifter should always keep their back straight when picking it up. Since the back is so flexible, it is the most susceptible to injury.

Lift with the Legs. This is probably the bit of advice which is given the most when it comes to lifting heavy items, and there is a reason for that. The back lacks support, but the legs are made to carry loads. Workers are less likely to injure their legs when lifting than their backs.

Face Forward. This is the body’s natural position where there is the most power and balance. When people lifting heavy loads turn their bodies, they fall off balance and risk injury. Rather, workers should pivot with their feet instead of at the waist.

Watch Where You are Going. The load should not be too big that the carrier cannot see what is in front of them. This risks injury, not because of a load which is too heavy, but because they could run into things or trip on the way to the item’s destination.

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