Safe Lifting Tips for Heavy Loads

Safe Lifting Tips for Heavy Loads

At work, much of your day is spent lifting, carrying and transporting heavy objects. While in many cases a machine does the grunt work, it only takes one careless mistake to sustain a serious, long-term injury due to improper lifting technique. The following safety tips will give you helpful ergonomic guidelines for lifting any size load.

Before Lifting:

  • If you are lifting a heavy object from the loading dock to a vehicle, make sure all the wheels are chocked before picking up the load.
  • Make sure the transition from loading dock to trailer is smooth and that any dock levelers can withstand the weight of you and your load.
  • Consider whether you will need a second person or a machine to help you with the load.
  • Consider whether the size or shape of the load creates additional challenges.
  • Determine if you will have to turn or change direction while carrying the load
  • Find out if the route you will take with the load is clear of obstructions and slip, trip or fall hazards.
  • Make sure you have a back support belt and are wearing it properly.

Ground Level Lifting:

  • Get as close as possible to the load, keeping it against your body and lifting with your legs.
  • Bend from the knees not the back.
  • Get a good grip on the object.

Overhead Lifting:

  • Stand on a stable surface.
  • Take the object off the shelf or support carefully, maintaining your balance.
  • Bring the load down to waist level while maintaining control.
  • Avoid reaching and lifting at the same time.


  • Look ahead instead of down to make sure your path is clear.
  • Always walk forward instead of backward, especially on or near loading docks.
  • Avoid stairs if possible.
  • Have someone else open doors, gates or other closed entries for you.
  • Change direction by moving your feet, not your hips.
  • Keep shoulders, hips and feet aligned – do not twist at the waist or change direction by moving your hips instead of your feet.
  • Set the load down if it becomes too heavy or unstable.

Setting Loads Down:

  • Bend at your knees, not your waist.
  • Set down the corner or edge of the object closest to you first, keeping your fingers out from under the load.

If you have questions or concerns on this issue, do not hesitate to call Zeiler Insurance and speak to one of our customer service representatives. As an independent agency, Zeiler Insurance prides itself with quality customer service for the people of the Chicago-land area and the rest of the Midwest. Customer or not, we can review your insurance and see if you are being protected appropriately for the right price.

708.597.5900 x651

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