Safe lifting plays an important role in keeping your back healthy and you safe. Before you lift, take just a few minutes to plan and prepare. It can make a huge difference where your safety and health are concerned.

  • Before you lift, inspect your intended path of travel for obstacles or other possible hazards. Make sure that you have a clear path to carry the load, can see where you are going, and have a clear area to set it down.
  • Size up the load before you lift it. Test the weight by moving a corner of the object and decide whether you can handle it alone or if you need help.
  • Get a firm footing. Place your feet shoulders’ width apart with one foot slightly forward of the other.
  • Bend at your knees, not your waist, to get your legs and feet ready to support the load. This is the single most important part of lifting.
  • Straighten your legs to lift straight up in a slow, smooth motion.
  • Keep the load close to your body. For greater strength and stability, lift and carry the object near your waist.
  • Move your feet when changing directions. Turning with your upper body while carrying the load causes strains.
  • Bend your knees again as you lower the load.
  • Ask for help for lifting items that are long, bulky, don’t have a good place to grip or are too heavy for one person. If you have to strain to carry the load, you need assistance.
  • Know when mechanical lifting equipment, such as a dolly or forklift, should be used. Follow company guidelines for your personal lifting weight limits.
  • If possible, divide a heavy load into several smaller ones.
  • If possible, avoid walking on slippery, uneven surfaces while carrying any load.
  • Don’t rely on a back belt to protect your back. When used improperly, they can actually damage your back.
  • Let your leg muscles do the work. They are stronger than any other muscle in your body.
  • Do not arch your back. This makes the nerve roots open to pinching and cause strains in weaker muscles.



  • Designate a leader in advance.
  • Plan the lift and use all safe lifting procedures.
  • Lift and lower in unison and with no sudden moves.

Communicate with your partner during the entire move.

Categorized in:

  • Workplace Safety
  • Workers Compensation
  • Transportation Safety
  • Injury Prevention