Proper Lifting Techniques: Safety Briefing - Week #39 - September, 2021



Lifting injuries due to poor technique are very prevalent not only in the workplace but in everyday life. Understanding simple mechanics of proper lifting could not only prevent workplace injuries but also improve your overall quality of life by decreasing your chances of a serious back injury. This week we will dive deeper into why it’s important, provide tips for preparing for a lift, discuss the do’s and don’ts and provide the basic mechanics of a proper lifting technique.

Monday – Why it’s Important

Today we are going to kick off this week’s topic by discussing why using proper lifting techniques is important not only in your workplace but in everyday life. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers experience back injuries each year. One-fourth of all workers' compensation indemnity claims are a result of back injuries. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons that people miss work, second only to the common cold. More importantly, this problem causes unnecessary discomfort and pain to workers which can have a devastating effect on their lifestyle. A BLS survey shows that 75% of back injuries occurred while performing lifting tasks.

Tuesday- Before you Lift

Now that we’ve addressed why proper lifting is so important let discuss ways to plan ahead to avoid a lifting injury.


  • Know what you are lifting and how you will lift it.
  • Be aware of the weight of the object.
  • Determine whether it’s safe to lift on your own.
  • Make sure the work area is flat, dry, and clear of debris.


  • Make sure the lift pathway is clear. 
  • Remove any tripping hazards or debris.
  • Check for any wet or slick surfaces.


  • Use lift assists, forklift, dolly, cart, hand truck, or hoist.
  • Make sure you are trained before using the equipment.


  • When lifting awkward or heavy loads, utilize a two-person lift.
  • Make sure you lift at the same time and keep the load level.

Wednesday – Lifting Do’s and Don’ts

Lifting is a part of our everyday life whether it’s lifting a child for a piggyback ride or lifting a box of goods to ship at work. Understanding these important lifting do’s and don’ts could help you maintain a healthy back for many years to come.


  • Know or test the object weight.
  • Use ergonomic lift assists when possible.
  • Plan the lift and clear your path.
  • Get help for heavy or awkward loads.
  • Keep the object in the power zone.
  • Use a wide stance for balance.
  • Use your legs to lift.
  • Pivot your feet to avoid twisting.


  • Hold your breath.
  • Bend or twist at the waist.
  • Use a partial grip (1-2 fingers).
  • Obstruct your vision when carrying.
  • Jerk or lift quickly.
  • Pinch you fingers or toes.
  • Pull a load if you can push it.
  • Forget to wear proper PPE.

Thursday – Basic Diagonal Lifting Technique

Today we will cover the basic best practices of lifting technique to avoid injury.

  1. Get as close to the object as possible.
  2. Use a wide stance with one foot forward and to the side of the object for good balance.
  3. Keep your back straight, push your buttocks out, and use your legs and hips to lower yourself down to the object.
  4. Slide the object as close to you as possible.
  5. Put the hand (same side of your body as the forward foot) on the side of the object furthest from you.
  6. Use this basic lifting technique for small objects when you can straddle the load and use a wide stance.
  7. Put the other hand on the side of the object closest to you. Your hands should be on opposite corners.
  8. Grasp the object firmly with both hands.
  9. Prepare for the lift, tighten your core muscles, look forward and upward, keep a straight and strong back.
  10. Lift slowly and follow your head and shoulders. Hold the load close to your body. Lift by extending your legs with your back straight and breathe out as you lift.

Friday – A picture says 1,000 words

         LIFTING ZONES                                                  DIAGONAL LIFTING TECHNIQUE




Tags: #workplacesafety #injuryfreedom #properlifting ,

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