Safety Tip of the Week

Proper Lifting Techniques

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares tips about proper lifting techniques.

As educators prepare classrooms and are looking forward to the start of the new school year, we need to remember to put our Safety First! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers experience back injuries each year. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons that people miss work, second only to the common cold. A BLS survey shows that 75 percent of back injuries occurred while performing lifting tasks, which underscores the importance of reducing back injuries caused by lifting. Here are some proper lifting techniques:

  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 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.