Heavy Lifting

Safety in focus: Handling heavy loads

07/08/2014BY: Tracey Mesken

​Close to 40% of all workplace injuries involve the back and are the result of incorrect manual handling of boxes, packages or large objects of any kind. Ask the following questions before doing any lifting.

Does the load need to be lifted? If an object has to be moved, consider safer alternatives to lifting it, for example sliding, pulling, pushing or rolling it instead – and get help whenever possible.

Can the load be reduced? Consider separating the load to reduce the weight, or minimizing the distance that it needs to be moved. Depending on the size, weight and content, consider using a pallet jacket or a trolley to support the lift.

Are you using the correct technique?

  • Ensure that the area of the lift and set down is free of obstructions and any hazards

  • Check the load for hazards such as sharp edges and protruding nails and staples

  • Size up the weight and contents of the load.

  • Place your feet apart and make sure they are stable and the weight can be distributed equally between them.

  • Bend your knees and hold firmly with both hands.

  • Lift the load to your waist slowly by straightening your legs, keeping your elbows close to your body. Use the palms of the hands to minimize the stress on your arms.

  • To put down the load, bend your knees and keep your back straight.

Protect your back and avoid serious workplace injuries by planning for lifts and using the correct techniques.

Focussed on Zero Harm The safety of our people is our absolute priority. To report a safety incident or hazard, call us on 1300 967 572 or click here to submit a report.