4 min read
25 Oct

We are our greatest asset. So, we must ensure to invest a great deal in our preservation – Wumi Akin (2021).

Lifting of heavy materials has been one of the major causes of injuries in the workplace.

Possible threats to safe Lifting of Materials 

  • If the weather is hot, personnel might easily get exhausted and dehydrated. A decrease in the flexibility of the muscles is experienced, when the weather is cold.
  • If the right posture is not adhered, certain injuries (back, shoulders, fingers, feet, etc.) could occur, e.g. strains and sprains.
  • Never over labour yourself. Over time this could accumulate (note that back injuries are mostly cumulative) and lead to trauma.

Excellent Processes to Adopt in Lifting Materials

i.     Plan by being thoughtful. 

    o   Is the material weighty?  

      a.     Check to know if you will need an additional aid (human or machine)?  

      b.     Would it be better if the materials are segments, for easier transporting?

    o   Identify the destination of the material. 

      a.     What possible obstacles (slippery or rough surfaces). Ensure the pathway is clear.

    o   Does the material have adequate handholds?  

      a.     Should hand gloves be used, for firm grip? 

      b.     Or if an added carry-on might be better.

ii.     Lift, how best?

    o   Manual: Stay as close as possible to the material, being handled and ensured it is centered forward-facing you.

      a.     Keep elbows and arms close to the body. 

      b.     Keep a straight back. 

      c.     Tighten the stomach muscles. 

      d.     Bend knees, not the hips. 

      e.     Keep head up and look ahead 

      f.     Get a firm handhold of the material 

      g.     Don’t twist or shake while lifting. (If the material is too heavy, get assistance or use a machine).

    o   Machine (conveyor, forklift etc.): used for handling heavy materials.

iii.   Carry, following the manual lifting procedures mentioned earlier. Tally this by: 

      a.    Ensuring not to twist your body. 

      b.     Let your shoulder, hips, knees and feet face the same direction (face forward). 

      c.     Don’t over labour yourself. If you feel tired, rest.

iv.   Set the Material Down, by doing a reverse of the manual lifting procedures. Ensure the material is secured, before releasing the handhold.

A few guidelines to follow in Lifting and material handling

  • Use appropriate Protective Personnel Equipment (PPE), such as 

      o     Hand gloves, for firm handholds.

      o     Safety footwear, for stability on the ground. 

      o      Hard hat, in the event of a fall or falling objects.

      o     etc.

  • Never overload a machine.
  • Observe break times. Segment your workload to avoid exhaustion
  • Rotate task amongst workers to avoid strains.
  • Pushing a material is much safer than pulling it.

Before you lift, think the process through, every time.  Safety can never be over emphasis, Take heed!!!!

* The email will not be published on the website.