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At work, much of your day is spent lifting, carrying and transporting heavy objects. While in many cases a machine does the grunt work, it only take one careless mistake to sustain a serious, long-term injury due to improper lifting techniques. The following safety tips will give you helpful ergonomic guidelines for lifting any size load. Before Lifting: * If you are lifting a heavy object from the loading dock to a vehicle, make sure all the wheels are chocked before picking up the load * Make sure the transition from loading dock to trailer is smooth and that any dock levelers can withstand the weight of you and your load * Consider whether you will need a second person or a machine to help you with the load * Consider whether the size or shape of the load creates additional challenges * Determine if you will have to turn or change direction while carrying the lead * Find out if the route you will take with the load is clear of obstructions and slip, trip or fall hazards. Ground Level Lifting: * Get as close as possible to the load, keeping it against your body and lifting with your legs * Bend from the knees not the back * Get a good grip on the object. Overhead Lifting: *Stand on a stable surface * Take the object off the shelf or support carefully, maintaining your balance * Bring the load down to waist level while maintaining control * Avoid reaching and lifting at the same time. Carrying: Look ahead instead of down to make sure you path is clear * Always walk forward instead of backward, especially on or near loading docks * Avoid stairs if possible * Have someone else open doors, gates or other closed entries for you * Change direction by moving your feet, no your hips * Keep shoulders, hips and feet aligned- do not twist at the waist or change direction by moving your hips instead of your feet * Set the load down if it becomes too heave or unstable. Setting Loads Down:  * Bend at your knees, not your waist * Set down the corner or edge of the object closest to you first, keeping your fingers out from under the load. 
Posted 8:57 AM  View Comments

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