According to the National Safety Council, manual handling of objects causes an estimated 25% of all occupational injuries. While there’s no one rule to eliminate lifting-related injuries, there are a variety of tried-and-true best practices for both employees and employers. For the latter, one such practice is establishing administrative controls to reduce overexertion.
Consider these organizational controls to reduce lifting/handling injuries:
- Examine and correct workflows for unnecessary lifts and long load distances.
- Allow workers to alternate between lifting and non-lifting tasks and provide breaks for essential rest time.
- Mark heavy and unstable loads.
- Avoid twisting motions when lifting objects.
- Pack boxes to evenly distribute the weight of their contents. Consider reducing the number of items in each box or using small, lightweight boxes.
- Avoid storing materials on the floor.
- Place materials at a height where employees can lift from above the knees and below the shoulders, while keeping loads close to the body.
- Make safe lifting a priority through supervisor-employee communication, training programs and visual reminders – like our safe lifting techniques poster.
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