Injuries resulting from manual lifting and handling activities are among the leading causes of workplace-related musculoskeletal disorders. While manual lifting is a critical and unavoidable process in the workplace, business owners can adopt various measures to reduce injuries. Let’s discuss some of these measures.
Business owners are tasked with ensuring that their workforce gets adequate training about suitable lifting practices. Ensure employees understand how injuries occur and the risk factors involved in the workplace. The training should be adapted to their specific tasks and work environment.
Workers should understand how to handle accidents when they occur, as well as the process of reporting injuries. Trainers should evaluate new staff, ensure they are following proper lifting methods, and address any of their concerns. Teach new staff how to go about lifting safely. Here are some helpful safe lifting tips.
- Have a clear strategy before you can start lifting. Analyze the weight of the load first and in cases where the weight is not marked clearly, you can assess it manually by moving one side. If determining the weight is impossible, you may want to use a lifting aid instead.
- A manual lift table (a gadget that uses a scissors technique to lower or raise commodities) in this case can be ideal. Identify a clear track and an ideal location to place the load. Adopt a stable and safe lifting position. Your feet should be close to the object and slightly apart from the item. Place one of your legs slightly in front to retain balance and position yourself in front of the object.
- Establish a good grip on the object with both of your hands. If you realize that you are losing the grip, place the object down safely and assume a better position before you can resume the lifting process.
- Bend your knees and lift the object straight, letting your legs to do the hard work.
- Ensure the object remains close to your body
- Don’t twist or bend sideways. Ensure your hips and shoulders are aligned. In case you want to turn, begin by turning your feet. This way, you will enable the rest of your body to change with ease.
- To safely place your object down, bend your knees first. You may want to push or turn the object in order to position it precisely. Execute this process once you have placed the object down.
- Assuming you are lifting with the help of a colleague, ensure that you lift and place the object down at the same time. To succeed in this, you will need proper communication.
Define Factors that Increase the Risk of Injury
One of the main factors that can increase the risk of injury is the object’s weight. Other factors to consider include;
- The recurrence of lifting
- The force required to execute the lift
- Body motion and postures required during the lift
- The span of lifting activities
In terms of the force required to execute the lift the risk of injury is likely to increase when;
- Workers execute heavy lifting using one hand
- The lift comprises of grasping to hold the item
- Workers have to bend, twist, or reach over the shoulder height to lift heavy objects
- Overly heavy objects are lifted without a manual lift table or human assistance
Body motions and postures that can increase the risk of injury include;
- Twisting or bending the back while holding or lifting heavy items
- Bending forward, leaning, or squatting during lifting procedures
- Lifting or placing items in cramped areas
- Holding or carrying lifted objects with the hands or arms in the same position for prolonged periods without resting
- Carrying or lifting objects with the hands above the shoulders; below the waist, or along the sides of the body.
Lifting repetitively for prolonged periods without resting can also be a risk factor. Other factors that can increase risks include; body size, age, state of health, sex, and overall physical fitness.
Entrepreneurs should ensure that employees who execute manual handling tasks undergo medical check-ups regularly. Further, purchasing a good quality manual lift table can be all you need to reduce injuries and enhance productivity in the workplace.
Have you read?