Best Practices for Lifting

Guidelines to help avoid injury when lifting and moving heavy objects.

  1. Assess the situation.
    • How far will you have to carry the load? Is the path clear?
    • Once the load is lifted, will it block your view?
    • Can the load be broken down into smaller parts?
    • Should you wear gloves to get a better grip?
  2. Size up the load.
    • Test the weight by lifting or sliding one corner.  If it is too heavy or awkward, STOP!
    • Can you use a mechanical lift or hand truck?
    • Can you lift the load safely, or is it a two- or more person lift? If you doubt you can lift the load safely, ask for help.
  3. Use good lifting techniques.
    • Get close to the load with your feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Get a good handhold, and pull the load close to you
    • Bend at your knees and hips, keep the inward curve in your back, and lift with your legs.
    • If you need to lean forward, support your upper body weight with one hand.

diagram showing the best way to lift a heavy object