Preventing Workplace Injury

Preventing Workplace Injury

Manual handling—using bodily force to move a load by lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing or pulling—is something we all do from time to time. However, if you lift too much weight or don’t use proper body mechanics, these type of tasks can put you at risk for injury.

The risks don’t only come from transporting a large, heavy item. You can injure yourself even with a very light item, depending on the number of times you have to pick it up or carry it, the distance you move it, the height from which you pick it up or set it down, and any twisting, bending, stretching or other awkward postures you assume while handling it.

Manual handling injuries are indiscriminate—they can affect workers across all occupations. Manual handling is one of the most common causes of workplace injuries, and these types of injuries can occur anywhere, anytime. Heavy manual labour, awkward postures and previous or existing injuries can all increase the risk.

Injuries from improper manual handling tend to negatively affect injured workers’ personal lives. These injuries can make it difficult to sleep, engage in leisure activities and can even lead to long-term health problems.

 

Follow these simple tips to reduce your risk of suffering a manual handling injury in the workplace:

 

  • Think before lifting or handling items.
  • Adopt a stable position.
  • Make sure you have good grip on the object.
  • Start in a good posture—avoid stooping or squatting.
  • Do not flex your back any further than normal while lifting.

  • Keep the load close to your waist.
  • Avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways.
  • Keep your head up when handling.
  • Move the load smoothly.
  • Do not handle more than you can manage.
  • Put the load down before adjusting it.

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