How to reduce your risk of injury when lifting


If you look at a manual handling website the general guidelines for maximum weights that should be attempted to lift for men is 25kg and 16kg for women.heavy load


This is very general though and you must take into consideration facts such as age, size, weight, health.


Then consider what sort of lift, if it is above the head the guidelines are 10kg for men and 7kg for women.


If the object has to be lifted when held away from the body the limit lowers again to 5kg for men and 3kg for women.


Once you have decided if this is a weight you are capable of lifting safely then follow these rules for safe lifting;


1. Make sure you are standing directly in front of the item you wish to lift
2. Check if the item has handles which you could use
3. Know where you are taking the object before you begin
4. Position your feet evenly (shoulder width apart)
5. Keep your back straight and stand up tall
6. Tighten your stomach muscles
7. Squat to the floor by bending your knees- DO NOT move your upper body
8. Take hold of the object firmly with both hands
9. Distribute the weight evenly - make sure you are not unbalanced
10. Keeping the object close to your body, begin to stand up by straightening your legs (This will use your leg muscles and shouldn't put strain on other areas)
11. Stand up slowly. Do not move quickly or jerk when doing this
12. You can now walk with the object (but be careful not to twist your body unnecessarily). Take small steps if possible.
13. If you are carrying a large object which restricts your view, ask if someone can guide you.This will prevent you from tripping or bumping into objects
14. When placing the item down, bend your legs
15. Remember to keep your back straight as you bend down again
16. Be careful to lower each side of the object to the floor separately- this will avoid trapping your fingers under the weight

 

References
Information for this blog were gathered from A Guide to Manual Handling and Lifting Techniques
By: Susan Hunt MA