OhioBWC - Employer:  (BWC Div. Safety and Hygiene) - Ergonomics Internet Resource Sites

Division of Safety & Hygiene lifting guidelines - Lifting tips

  1. Eliminate unnecessary lifting
    Whenever possible, eliminate manual materials handling by combining operations or shortening the distances that material must be moved. Look at material flow through the facility, and eliminate any unnecessary lifts.

  2. Automate or mechanize lifting
    If it's not possible to eliminate the lift, consider automating the lifting task or using a mechanical lifting device. Devices such as hoists, cranes and manipulators can eliminate the forces on the spine associated with manual materials handling. Therefore, the likelihood of back injuries is also reduced.

  3. Modify the job to fit within worker capabilities
    If material must be handled manually, design the job to reduce the stress on the body as much as possible.
    See job modifications below.
    • Allow for lifting loads as close to the body as possible. Some techniques to reduce reaching distances are:
      • Eliminate any barriers such as the sides of bins or boxes;
      • Use a turn table for loads on pallets;
      • Use a tilt table to allow for better access into bins.
    • Place the load as close to waist height as possible. This may be accomplished by using adjustable lift tables or inclined conveyors to locate the object to be handled at waist height.
    • Reduce the need to twist the trunk by re-orienting the lifting origins and destinations.
    • Reduce the weight of the load being lifted so that the weights are within these lifting guidelines.