Lifting & Handling: The Basics Safety

Lifting & Handling: The Basics

You stand a far better chance of remaining fit and pain-free if you’ll stick with the basics in lifting and handling materials.

Many injuries happen to construction workers because they forget several basic manual material handling suggestions. Here are a few pointers about lifting and handling:

  • First, think of your toes, in case something heavy drops. Always keep those toes of yours under protective cover; wear safety shoes.
  • Think of your hands. Wear good tough gloves when you handle anything rough, sharp or splintery. (Cut level 4)
  • Before you heave-ho, be sure you’ve got a secure grip and solid footing.
  • Keep the load close to your body, to minimize the strain. Lift smoothly—don’t jerk as you lift.
  • See that fingers and toes stay in the clear when lifting and handling.
  • Don’t twist your body when carrying a load; pivot with your feet instead of your spine.
  • When a load is too heavy or awkward to handle alone, ask for help.
  • Plan your path of execution and make sure it is free of debris and obstacles.
  • Push rather than pull.
  • Use equipment (dollies, carts, two-wheelers, hydraulic/electrical hoists or lifts) to move loads whenever possible.
  • Make sure work levels are at waist height when standing and elbow height when sitting whenever possible.
  • If you have to work in one position for a long period of time, take stretching breaks.

Play it safe and smart. Stick with the basics in all of your lifting and handling of materials and equipment.