September 2008 Safety Tip

Safe lifting

There are many activities, both at home and on the job, that require routine lifting. But lifting the wrong way can lead to serious back injury. By using the following tips your back can be pain-free.

  • Plan your lift
  • Gently stretch your muscles
  • Use dollies, carts, or other mechanical equipment
  • Lift only what you can handle safely
  • Lift with your legs and not your back
  • Never twist your body when lifting
  • Carry the load as close as possible to your body
  • Use your knees to slowly lower the load
  • Have co-workers assist you with oversized loads

The following are 8 steps to performing a safe lift:

  1. Keep a wide stance and solid footing
  2. Use a squatting position with bent knees and hips AND a straight back
  3. Tighten stomach muscles
  4. Firmly grasp the load
  5. Hug the load close to your body
  6. Lift steadily with your legs, keeping your back straight and not twisting
  7. Point your feet in the direction you want to move
  8. Set the load down by squatting, maintaining the natural curvature of your spine