Safety Tips for Proper Workplace Lifting
Lifting is a common activity in the workplace—an activity that can be potentially dangerous if the proper techniques are not used. In fact, lower back injuries caused by improper lifting are some of the most common work-related injuries.
In order to protect yourself when lifting heavy items in the workplace, do the following:
- Look over the load. Decide if you can handle it alone or if you need assistance. When in doubt, ask for help. Moving an object that is too heavy or bulky can cause severe injury.
- Clear away any potential obstacles before carrying an object.
- Use good foot positioning. Your feet should be shoulder- width apart.
- Bend your knees. Bending over at the waist to reach for an object you want to lift puts strain on your back, shoulder and neck muscles.
- Keep your arms and elbows as close to your body as you can while lifting.
- Use your feet to change direction. Don’t twist your body.
Accidents in the workplace can occur without warning, and it’s important to respond quickly to help those in need. In some cases, supervisors may not be around to provide the proper response guidance, and it’s up to employees to act.
The following are some general tips to keep in mind if a co-worker is involved in a workplace accident:
- Take control of the scene and try to restore order.
- Call for emergency services if needed. Provide any immediate first aid, if you are qualified to do so.
- Protect co-workers from potential secondary accidents. You can accomplish this by dismissing unnecessary personnel and denying access to the area.
- Identify people at the scene. If they witnessed the incident, be sure to make a note of their names, as they can provide a report on what happened at a later date.
- Notify upper management of the issue.
- Do not put yourself in harm’s way.
Following an accident, follow up with your supervisor to ensure the appropriate paperwork is completed. Supervisors may require you to file an accident report or further detail what happened.
If you have any ideas of how the accident could have been avoided, share them with your supervisor or at a safety meeting. If your workplace does not have a first responder program in place, it may a good idea to suggest it to your employer.
Trained first-aid responders can provide immediate care to workers who become ill or injured on the job. The quick response and training of these individuals can make all the difference following an accident.
Common First-Aid Kit Supplies:
- Sterile saline solution
- Antibiotic ointment
- Gauze and wraps
- Disposable gloves
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