Lifting Safety

February 2023 Safety Topic

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over one million employees in the United States experience back injuries each year and 75% of those come from lifting tasks. A back injury can permanently affect a worker’s life and is one of the most common reasons employees miss work. However, there are ways to avoid back injuries. These tips should always be followed when lifting objects at work.

The following are proper techniques to prevent injury:

  • Check your surroundings for a clear path before lifting.
  • Decide where you will place the object before lifting.
  • Determine the approximate weight to see if it is a reasonable load to carry.
  • Stretch your back and legs before lifting.
  • Stand close to the load, keeping your back straight, and lift with your legs.
  • Get a good grip and take small steps.
  • Tighten stomach muscles when setting the load down.

Also, there are specific activities to avoid when lifting objects:

  • DO NOT twist or turn your body when lifting.
  • DO NOT carry a load that is too heavy.
  • DO NOT carry a load if your vision is obstructed.
  • DO NOT lift while fatigued.

For more information or questions about lifting safety, please get in touch with your supervisor or contact a Campus Life Safety and Regulatory Compliance team member.