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Back To The Basics

You stand a far better chance of remaining fit and pain-free if you'll stick with the basics in lifting and handling materials.

Many painful injuries happen to construction workers because they forget several basic manual material handling suggestions. Here are a few pointers about lifting and handling:

• First, think of your tender toes, in case something heavy drops. Always keep those toes of yours under protective steel cover; wear safety shoes.

• Think of your hands. Wear good tough gloves when you handle anything rough, sharp or splintery.

• Before you heave-ho, be sure you've got a secure grip and solid footing.

• Keep the load close to your body, to minimize the strain. Lift smoothly—don't jerk as you lift.

• See that fingers and toes stay in the clear when lifting and handling.

• Don't twist your body when carrying a load; pivot with your feet instead of your spine.

• When a load is too heavy or awkward to handle alone, be quick to ask for help.

• Plan your path of execution and make sure it is free of debris and obstacles.

• Push rather than pull.

• Use equipment (dollies, carts, two-wheelers, hydraulic/electrical hoists or lifts) to move loads whenever possible.

• Make sure work levels are at waist height when standing and elbow height when sitting whenever possible.

• If you have to work in one position for a long period of time, take stretching breaks.

Play it safe and smart. Stick with the basics in all of your lifting and handling of materials and equipment.

 

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