Lifting is an unavoidable part of many occupations. Unfortunately, these lifting duties – both manual and mechanical – can put workers at risk, making establishing safe lifting limits an essential component of protecting your workforce against unnecessary injuries.
Help your workers stay on-guard against these common lifting hazards:
• Heavy loads
Exact safe lifting limits vary per individual. Loads in excess of 50-lbs are too heavy for most, especially when hefted several times per hour.
• Overlarge objects
These make it difficult to follow basic lifting rules: Carrying the load close to the body and keeping a clear line-of-sight.
• Unbalanced loads/loads that move
When center-of-gravity shifts, uneven loading of muscles increases the likelihood of fatigue and strain, as well as lost balance/falls.
• Loads that are hard to handle
Loads that slip, with slick or sharp edges, or those housing dangerous materials, greatly increase risk.
Task organization hazards
• Awkward movements/postures
In awkward environments where twisting backs, bending wrists, and over-reaching are necessary, injury risk increases. These include:
- Environments with insufficient room, particularly vertical
- Uneven floors or variations in floor levels (tripping & shifting)
- Insufficient lighting
- Poor workplace design
- Bad load positioning
- Uncomfortable environments (cold=numb hands; hot=sweaty and slippery)
• High frequency
High repetition lifting with insufficient recovery time can easily result in injury – situations with smaller/lighter loads.
• Workers that are tired, obese, or ill can be more prone to faulty movements and thus injury.
Have you established safe lifting limits and other essential safety measures to safeguard workers from unnecessary injury? Take control of your workers comp costs. Contact Minnesota Comp Advisor today.