How to Lift an Object Properly to Avoid Strain

Lifting heavy objects is a part of many people's jobs. Even if it is not part of your job, you must pay attention to the way you lift things so that you do not get hurt. These simple steps will go a long way in preventing back strain.

Steps

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    Plan your move. Make sure any obstacles are removed prior to lifting the object.
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    Determine if the load is too heavy to lift normally by pushing it along its resting surface to test its weight.
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    Gather items to help you in lifting should you determine the weight is too much. Ask a coworker for help, or gather other items to help you such as a pallet jack, cart, or hand truck.
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    If using the assistance of a coworker, be sure to coordinate your movements both before and during the lift.
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    Face yourself towards the load.
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    Place one foot slightly in front of the other, and space your feet six to 12 inches (30.5 cm) apart.
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    DO NOT BEND AT YOUR BACK - BEND FROM YOUR KNEES!
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    Keep your back straight.
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    If handles are present, grab them. If not get a firm grip with your hands prior to attempting to lift the object. Make sure your hands are dry, & free of grease or oil. Wear gloves if necessary.
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    Keep the object as near to your body as possible for stability.
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    When lifting, steady your movements to keep them smooth. Do not jerk.
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    Pivot your feet if you need to change direction while moving the load - do not twist your waist.
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    When setting the object down, use the same method as picking up, except in reverse. Once again - do not bend your back!
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    If you are lifting an object higher than waist level, do so in more than one motion. Set the object on something sturdy (like a bench or table that can take the weight) before adjusting your grip to move it the rest of the way.

Tips

  • If you do hurt your back, make sure to go to the doctor. You may have a simple strain; but it could be something more serious like a slipped disc.

Warnings

  • There are many dangers to improperly lifting things besides hurting your. Loads can shift and fall on you or others around you. Expensive inventory (or precious home items) can be broken if care is not taken. Be safe, rather than sorry!

Article Info

Categories: Injury and Accidents