Tips for Safe Lifting

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Whether carrying merchandise daily is part of your job description, or you’re just asked to help carry boxes every once in a while, use best lifting practices to avoid injuries. Picking up just one heavy piece of equipment without proper technique can result in a painful muscle strain or worse.

Make a Plan

Before you lift a heavy item, make a plan. Look at the path you need to take and determine if it’s clear. Move obstacles out of the way. If possible, have someone on the team walk in front of you to hold doors open and stop others from stepping in your path.

Check Your Clothing

If possible, remove any piece of clothing or jewelry that might snag on your load such as a watch band or loose jacket. Never move heavy items in flip flops or other unstable shoes. Wear sturdy boots or tennis shoes.

Survey the Weight

Determine which side of the item is heaviest and keep that side closest to you. Hold the item low, using your hips and legs for strength. This will help you avoid shoulder injuries Oregon and possible neck strain.

Use Your Legs

Although you should not lift with your back, your back should play its part in giving your legs stability. Start with a slightly rounded back at the beginning of the lift and then let your legs do most of the work. If you must pivot, do so with your feet rather than with your waist.

Eyes Forward

Let someone else guide you if you must maneuver around furniture or through narrow doorways. Your job is to look straight ahead and concentrate on keeping a firm grip on your load.

Lower Carefully

Watch that your fingers don’t get stuck under heavy items. Set down the side farthest away from you and let others keep the tilt until your digits are free and clear.

There is a safe way to lift without injury, but even so, you should know your limits. Not everyone is going to possess the same capability with regards to heavy lifting.