Lifting the correct way is essential for any job site, and it’s important to know how to do it properly to protect your safety and well-being. However, many don’t realize that they might make mistakes when lifting objects that can easily lead to injury!
These common errors may seem insignificant on their own, but if done often or mismanaged even once can quickly lead to serious muscular-skeletal issues such as muscle strain or back pain. To ensure you remain safe while completing lifting tasks at work, here are 10 mistakes you should avoid.
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- Mistakes to Avoid When Lifting Objects
Mistakes to Avoid When Lifting Objects
Identified and listed 10 of the most common mistakes people make when lifting heavy objects to help ensure that workers remain safe while completing lifting tasks at work.
1. Grabbing Near the Top
For workers who lift heavy objects daily, it is imperative to use the proper technique and be mindful of how the object is being held. Rather than grabbing an item near the top, it is much better to grip it at or near the bottom.
Not only will this help you lift the item more easily, but it will also dramatically decrease the stress on your arms - particularly the forearms. It might feel counter-intuitive to lift something from the bottom up since that's not what we’re used to seeing—but trust us; your arms will thank you for it!
2. Using Your Bare Hands
If you're ever faced with lifting heavy objects, protect your hands! Have you ever seen the results of someone who tried to move something large without gloves? Not a pretty sight! Lifting with bare hands comes with an increased risk of injury. Wood can splinter, and metal has jagged sections that can cut you up.
The solution is simple: Grab yourself some gloves. It's worth it for the peace of mind of knowing your hands are safe from harm. The most important thing here is to avoid injury, so don't take the risk – grab those gloves!
3. Bending Back
Bending your back is a dangerous mistake when lifting heavy objects and can lead to severe injury. To ensure that you are lifting safely, it's best to position your body close to the object and bend at the knees rather than arching your back.
Doing this keeps your spine in alignment and allows you to lift with the larger muscles in your legs instead of the smaller muscles in the lower back. This approach limits strain and prevents possible sprains or another neck, shoulder, and back conditions that can cause long-term pain or damage.
4. Not Seeking Help
When the task is too large for you to handle alone, don’t try to be a one-person team—seek help! It's always better to be safe than sorry. Working with a partner also helps ensure that safety guidelines are being followed as well as providing additional support in case something goes wrong.
Furthermore, it reduces the risk of dropping the item and causing potential harm to yourself or your coworker. Feel free to ask for help when you need it!
5. Not Taking Breaks
It’s easy to get caught up in a task and feel like taking breaks is wasting time, but taking regular breaks throughout lifting tasks is essential for any job site. Doing so not only helps with preventing injury, but can also help reduce fatigue and improve overall safety performance.
The recommendation is to take a break every 20 minutes of lifting time. That way, you're still able to get the job done efficiently and quickly while giving your body enough rest between tasks.
6. Wearing the Wrong Footwear
Wearing the wrong shoes can wreak havoc on your body. Regarding lifting, having the right shoe helps you stand firmly and lift properly. Investing in good shoes provides comfort and additional support when lifting heavy objects.
Shoes should be constructed with a flat sole, have good arch support and cushioning, and possess a firm grip on the ground. Doing so will ensure that you are always in a safe and secure position when lifting.
Paying attention to the weight of the object you're lifting is very important. Before attempting a lift, make sure that you are aware of how much the item weighs and what your limit is. If it's too heavy for you, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Knowing your limits not only improves safety but helps prevent any potential injuries as well.
8. Ignoring Safety Protocols
Safety protocols are in place to make sure everyone is kept safe, so ignoring them can be extremely dangerous.
Before any lift, take the time to review safety protocols and make sure you understand them. That way, you can proactively assess all potential risks before lifting and help prevent any harm from not following safety protocols.
9. Not Taking Care of Yourself
Practicing good health and wellness to lift items properly without endangering yourself or your coworkers is essential. Making sure you're eating a healthy diet and getting enough rest are necessary steps before lifting any heavy objects.
Additionally, it's important to warm up and stretch before beginning any lifting task. This helps improve circulation and prevents any muscle tears while performing the lift.
10. Not Inspecting the Area
Finally, it's important to take a moment and inspect the area before beginning any lift. Doing so helps identify potential hazards or obstacles that could be in your way and cause an accident. Additionally, it also helps ensure that you can properly assess the environment of the lift and ensure maximum safety while doing so.
Following these simple guidelines can help you avoid any potential mistakes when lifting items. Remember to always be prepared, take the necessary precautions, and seek help if you need it. Doing so will ensure that all your lifts are safe and successful!