Due to the layout of storage areas, very little stock of products is actually within an employee’s safe lifting zone, which is between the shoulders and knees. Lifting and lowering objects outside this zone can cause serious injuries. Following these simple guidelines and learning to lift properly today will help you avoid back pain tomorrow.

Proper Lifting Techniques

  • Wear gloves if you are lifting rough equipment.
  • Clear away any potential obstacles before beginning to carry an object.
  • Get a good grip and good footing. Use your hands to grip the load and position your feet so that one foot is next to the load and one is behind it.
  • Get under the load by bending your knees, not your back. This is the most important lifting technique to remember as bending over at the waist to reach for the object puts strain on your back, shoulder, and neck muscles and can cause serious injury.
  • Keep the load close to your body.
  • Never twist your body when you are lifting. Turn your entire body by using your feet.
  • Do not lift above the shoulders or below the waist level.

Size up the Load

Before lifting an object, check its weight. 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. Generally, most men should not lift more than 37 pounds, and most women should not lift more than 28 pounds. If a particular load is heavier than you can handle, take the following precautions:

  • Get someone to help.
  • Break it down into smaller loads if possible.
  • Use dollies or lifts as aids. These tools were made for heavy lifting.

Lift as a Team

When others are helping you lift, teamwork is very important. If you’re going to be carrying the load to another point, both of you should coordinate this before lifting the object. Check the route and clearance. One worker needs to be in a position to observe and direct the other. Lifting and lowering should be done in unison. Don’t let the load drop suddenly without warning your partner.

Get Fit!

People who are in poor physical condition are at greater risk for back problems. A conditioning program that includes aerobics, weight training, and stretching exercises will help you prepare your body for the rigors of lifting.

If you need more safety resources to help with property lifting techniques for your retail team, contact Bates Hewett & Floyd today.


This flyer is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or legal advice. © 2010, 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved