In a large facilities department such as ours, lifting is very much a part of our everyday jobs. But
because it is something many of us do so often, we tend to do it in auto-mode, without thinking first
about proper technique. Lifting incorrectly can result in a variety of injuries, with back strain being the
most common. Using proper lifting techniques can save you from pain today, as well as years down
Please see the FREAS SharePoint page under Safety for more information on this topic.
- Size up the load. Determine if you can handle it alone or if you will need help. 50 lbs. Is the
recommended maximum load for a person lifting alone in ideal conditions. Ask for help.
- Review the area you will travel. Check the surroundings in which you will be handling the object.
- Make sure the area is clear of obstructions if you must carry the object any distance.
- Stand close to the load, with feet shoulder width apart and firmly on the floor.
- Bend at the hips and knees and squat close to the load; keep your back straight and chin up.
- Grip the load firmly with both hands, not just your fingers.
- Be especially careful with your grip on objects with awkward shapes.
- Lift so your leg, stomach, and buttock muscles do the work—not your back.
- Bring the load close to your body, keeping your weight centered over your feet.
- Stand slowly with your back straight and let your legs push you up.
- Avoid Back Strain While Carrying
- Carry the load waist high.
- Be sure to maintain your grip and can see where you are going.
- Position your feet to set a good foundation. Good foot position allows you to keep your balance
and use your powerful leg muscles
- Walk slowly, taking small steps.
- Stop along the way to rest if you need it.
- Move your feet to turn direction.
- Don’t twist your torso! That’s a major cause of injury.
- Work with a person about your height.
- Decide in advance which person will direct the move.
- Keeping knees bent and back straight, lift and raise the load together.
- Move smoothly together as you carry, keeping the load at the same level.
- Unload at the same time, keeping knees bent.
- Use mechanical assists whenever possible.