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Safe Lifting and Moving of Materials

Utilizing proper techniques when lifting and moving materials can prevent injury to many parts of the body. The back, in particular, is a very critical yet sensitive part of the body, and when injured can have disabling effects on daily functioning.

The incidence of injuries to the back has seen a sharp decline over the last ten years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, injuries to the back, including the spine and spinal cord, have decreased from 653,385 in 1992 to 372,683 in 2001. The more frequent use of proper lifting and moving techniques may have been a contributor to this large decrease in injuries.

Utilizing the following techniques when lifting and moving materials can help you to prevent injury.

How to lift materials safely:

  • Stand as close to load as possible.
  • Bend your knees, keeping the back straight to maintain the natural "S" curve of your spine.
  • Ensure that you have a firm hand on the load so that it will not slip from within your grip.
  • Hold the load close to you.
  • Rise to a standing position, lifting the load gradually with the muscles in your legs and not your back.
  • If the load is bulky or awkward obtain assistance from a coworker.
  • Use mechanical devices such as lift gates and hand trucks whenever possible.

How to move materials safely:

  • Survey your route prior to lifting and moving the load.
  • After lifting, keep the load balanced and close to your body.
  • Ensure that you can see in front of you as you move the load.
  • Avoid twisting your body when holding the load.
  • Face the way you will be moving.
  • Use mechanical devices whenever possible.



For Overall Program Management, to obtain an Art Safety Manual, or for guidelines on how to store and/or dispose of hazardous waste call Rosemarie Kulp at 848-445-2550

For more information, contact webmaster Last Updated: 4/22/04
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