Safe Lifting

To save injury to yourself or damage to the item follow these good handling techniques for lifting:

Think First & Plan

  • Can handling aids be used?
  • Where is the load going to be placed?
  • Will I need help?
  • Remove obstructions along the way.
  • For a long lift, consider resting the load midway on a table or bench to change grip.
  • Don't lift or handle more than can easily be managed. There is a difference between what can be lifted and what can be lifted safely.

Before Lifting

  • Adopt a stable position with your feet apart and one leg slightly forward to maintain balance.
  • Be prepared to move your feet during the initial lift to maintain your stability.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing or unsuitable footwear to make moving easier.
  • Get a good hold.

To Lift

  • At the start of the lift, slightly bending your back, hips and knees is better than stooping or squatting.
  • Don't flex your back any further whilst lifting. This can happen if you begin to straighten your legs before starting to raise the load.
  • Avoid twisting or leaning sideways, especially whilst your back is bent.
  • Keep your shoulders level and facing the same direction as your hips.
  • Turn by moving your feet rather than twisting and lifting at the same time.

Whilst Lifting

  • Keep the load close to your waist and to your body for as long as possible, with the heaviest side closest to your body.
  • If a close approach is not possible, try to slide it towards your body before lifting it.
  • Keep your head up and look ahead, not down at the load.
  • Move smoothly to avoid jerking muscles and joints.
  • Put the load down first and then re-position it if necessary.

Finally, if you are in any doubt whatsoever, ask a technician for advice and / or help.

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