Prior to trying to lift any object, it is suggested that you do some simple stretches to warm-up your muscles and lessen the risk of any injury.
Always be sure that you are directly right in front of the item you want to lift.
The general guideline for maximums weights is that no man should try to lift anything heavier than 25kg and for women, the weight limit is 16kg. If the object is being lifted to a height above the shoulders, men should only lift items which are lighter than 10kg and woman, 7kg. However, this recommended weight limit drops further for objects that have to be held away from the body – 5kg for the men and 3kg for the women. In any case, it will always be a smart move to perform a risk assessment before any lifting since the limit is dependent upon several variables such as age, fitness, etc.
Tips for Lifting Heavy Objects Safely
- Remember to keep your back as straight as possible.
- Be sure you are directly standing right in front of the object you want to lift.
- Find out if the object has handles which you can use when lifting it.
- Identify exactly where you’re taking the item prior to lifting it.
- Make sure your feet are positioned evenly (about shoulder width apart).
- Maintain a straight back and stand up tall.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles or the muscles on your stomach.
- Lower yourself towards the floor without moving your upper body. Just squat by bending your knees.
- Hold the item securely with both hands.
- Make sure that the weight is distributed evenly – ensure you are not unbalanced.
- Keeping the item close to your body, start to stand up by straightening your legs (this should use your leg muscles and should not put pressure on other body areas).
- Stand up gradually. Don’t move rapidly or jerk when doing this .
- If necessary, you can now walk with the item, but be mindful not to twist your body unnecessarily. As much as possible, just take small steps.
- If you’re moving a big item which limits your view, request somebody to guide you. This will prevent you from bumping into or tripping on objects.
- When putting the object down, bend your knees.
- Do not forget to keep your back straight as you bend down once again.
- Be mindful to lower each side of the item on the surface or floor separately – this may prevent your fingers from getting trapped under the weight.