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Think before you
Before lifting any
object consider its
shape, weight and
whether it is within
your capability to lift
it. Test the load first
if you are uncertain
of its weight. If you
are in any doubt ...
don’t lift it ! Consider
whether the load can
be shared (get some
help), whether it can
be reduced (half the
load and make two
trips), whether there
is any lifting / moving
equipment available
(e.g. use a trolley)
and whether you can
lessen the journey
(e.g. if you are load-
ing up the car, re-
verse the car back
as close to the load
as possible). Make
sure there are no ob-
stacles in the way or
anything to trip or slip
over as you move the
Bend your knees and use your leg
Whilst we consider that our trunk is broad and
robust, the actual back muscles responsible
for straightening us up from a bent position are
long, strap like and not particularly strong.
By contrast the buttock and thigh muscles
(quadriceps and hamstrings) are the largest
muscle groups in the body and they are strong.
Keep your back straight
The vertebral discs in the spine act as our shock
absorbers and spacers in the back. They are
placed under more
pressure in a slumped or stooped
position. When further stress is added to them
(such as lifting a heavy load with an incorrect
lifting technique) then the risks of causing injury
are raised
significantly. Keep you back straight throughout
the lift, avoid twisting and let the leg muscles
take the strain.
Move closer...move your body real
It is important to hold the load really close to
your body. The further away from the body the
weight is held, the greater the stress on the
The must do’s:
Ensure a wide stable base
Ensure you have a good grip of the object
you are moving
Break often and stretch if you are doing
repetitive handling
Most of us are aware of correct lifting habits
but often an impatience to get the job done
will push this good knowledge to one side.
This article will reinforce some of the main
topics regarding good manual handling and
hopefully provide a few useful tips for future
use :
Remember, that whilst we often consider
that injuries occur after one single event of
poor lifting it is more likely that these occur
due to an accumulation of minor, repetitive
traumas over a period of time. Serial offend-
ers of poor lifting and handling are most
likely to cause injury to themselves.