Guest Blogger: Simon Mac Innis
Many painful injuries happen to workers because they forget several basic manual material handling suggestions. Here are a few pointers about lifting and handling:
- Plan your path of execution and make sure it is free of debris and obstacles.
- First, think of your toes, in case something heavy drops. Always wear protective steel-toe boots.
- Think of your hands. Wear good tough gloves when you handle anything rough, sharp or splintery.
- Before you start lifting, 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, be quick to ask for help.
- Push rather than pull.
- Use equipment (dollies, carts, two-wheelers, hydraulic/electrical hoists or lifts) to move loads whenever possible to reduce strain on your body.
Play it safe and smart. Stick with the basics in all your lifting and handling of materials and equipment.