Regardless of age, adapting a proper lifting technique is critical in assuring back health and reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
Below are some tips to better plan and execute a lifting task:
1. Plan ahead
How much does your object weigh?
How far must you move the object?
Is the path clear from all tripping hazards?
2. Ask for help
Would the task be better executed with two people?
Do you have access to any lifting aides such as: (dolly, cart, forklift etc.)
3. Get a firm footing
Position yourself as close to the object as possible. Place the legs in a wide stance; one foot should be placed slightly forward and beside the object.
4. Bend at the knees and hips
Keeping the back as straight as possible, bend at the hips and knees, then lower yourself into a squat position.
5. Tighten your muscles
Prepare for the lift, tighten your core muscles while keeping a straight and strong back.
6. Lift with your legs
Lift with the force of your legs while keeping your back neutral and breath out.
7. Keep the load close
Keep the load close to the body and ensure you are looking forward at all times.
8. Keep your back upright
Keep your posture neutral and place the item in the desired location with control.
- Hold your breath when lifting.
- Twist or turn at the torso.
- Jolt and move quickly.
- Look down or slouch forward.
- Obstruct your view.
- Lock your joints (knee, hips and elbows)