1. Know what you are lifting prior to attempting to lift it. When lifting boxes or crates, if possible examine the contents prior to attempting the lift.
2. Do not attempt to lift something that is too wide or too heavy to comfortably lift.
3. Ask for assistance when a load cannot be handled safely by one person because of excessive weight, bulkiness or awkward shape of the load.
4. When lifting as a group, one person should communicate commands to the others. Indicate any changes in elevation, cornering or settings. Always give adequate warnings before setting your portion of the load down.
5. Check your route of travel for any slip, trip or fall hazards before you lift. When carrying an object when your vision is obstructed, ensure that the route of travel is clear of hazards before you begin.
6. Before lifting, check the load for slivers, jagged edges, burrs, rough or slippery surfaces, protruding nails, etc.
7. Wear appropriate protective clothing (gloves, safety shoes, etc.).
8. Recommended Lifting Procedures:
- Stand close to the load with your feet spread shoulder width apart.
- Squat down, bending at the hips and knees, while keeping your back straight.
- Grip the load firmly, tighten your abdomen, and use your legs to lift the object.
- Lift in one continuous motion while keeping your back straight.
- Remember to breathe normally while you lift. Steady breathing helps prevent you from becoming fatigued.
- Keep the load close to your body. The closer the load is to your body, the less pressure it exerts on your back.
- Change directions by moving your feet. Never twist your body.
- When you set the load down, bend only at the hips and knees while keeping your lower back straight.
- If retrieving a load from above your shoulder level, do not reach over your head. Elevate yourself to the load with a ladder.
9. Maintain a firm grip on the object. Do not attempt to lift something with your fingers or “pinch grip” the object. Always use a “palm grip.”
10. Keep your back straight. Whether lifting something up or placing something down, do not add the weight of your body to the load.