Think before lifting/handling. Plan the lift. Can
handling aids be used? Where is the load going to be
placed? Will help be needed with the load? Remove
obstructions such as discarded wrapping materials.
For a long lift, consider resting the load midway on a
table or bench to change grip.
Adopt a stable position. The feet should be apart
with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance
(alongside the load, if it is on the ground). The worker
should be prepared to move their feet during the
lift to maintain their stability. Avoid tight clothing or
unsuitable footwear, which may make this difficult.
Get a good hold. Where possible, the load should be
hugged as close as possible to the body. This may be
better than gripping it tightly with hands only.
Start in a good posture. At the start of the lift, slight
bending of the back, hips and knees is preferable to
fully flexing the back (stooping) or fully flexing the hips
and knees (squatting).
Don’t flex the back any further while lifting. This
can happen if the legs begin to straighten before
starting to raise the load.
Keep the load close to the waist. Keep the load
close to the body for as long as possible while lifting.
Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the body.
If a close approach to the load is not possible, try to
slide it towards the body before attempting to lift it.
Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways,
especially while the back is bent. Shoulders should be
kept level and facing in the same direction as the hips.
Turning by moving the feet is better than twisting and
lifting at the same time.
Keep the head up when handling. Look ahead, not
down at the load, once it has been held securely.
Move smoothly. The load should not be jerked or
snatched as this can make it harder to keep control
and can increase the risk of injury.
Don’t lift or handle more than can be easily
managed. There is a difference between what people
can lift and what they can safely lift. If in doubt, seek
advice or get help.
Put down, then adjust. If precise positioning of the load
is necessary, put it down first, then slide it into the
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