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A Different Way of Lifting Safely
Mental Lifting First Leads to Physical Lifting Safely – Free Safety Meeting Topic
Throughout our lives, we have all attended safety meetings addressing lifting safely. The topic usually addresses the six steps to proper lifting. Though they are very important, there is an additional step you should take prior to lifting an item.
Have you ever been asked to help someone move? I would say most of us have done this for someone. Or at work, do you move items without knowing in advance where the item is to be placed? Do you even know how much the item weighs before you lift it?
Prior to the lift you should lift the item or object mentally. You should find out how much it weighs, see if it is awkward or bulky but does not weigh much, etc.
You should think about the following:
- Do I need to ask for additional help?
- Should I use a mechanical aid to move the item?
- Where am I taking the item before I move it?
- Are there tripping hazards in the way where I am going to move the item?
- Do I need to clear the travel path prior to moving the item? Is the travel path short or long?
When these questions have been answered and you determine you need to physically lift the item, then perform the lift implementing the six steps of lifting safely! These include:
- Size up the load.
- Establish firm footing about the same width as your shoulders.
- Get a firm grip on the load and keep the load close to your body.
- Keep your back straight and bend at the knees, not your waist.
- As you begin to lift tighten your stomach muscles and lift with your legs not your back.
- When you must turn, turn with your feet first, and let your body follow. Never turn by twisting your body.
Evaluating what needs to be lifted prior to lifting the item only takes a few seconds. It will be worth the wait to implement these steps as it is your back you must live with for the rest of your life!
Safe Lifting Posters are a great way to remind workers of the principles of lifting safely.