Improper lifting of heavy items is a major cause of injury to retail workers. By taking just a few precautionary measures when handling product, staff may avoid serious sprains, strains or back injuries.
Time Required: < 5 minutes
- Examine the size and weight of the item(s) needing to be moved. Don't assume a small box will move easily. Gently push the object with your hands (or feet) to determine the weight of the load.
- Stretch your legs and back before lifting anything.
- If possible, ask another employee for help in lifting and carrying shelving, product or other items.
- Use a hand truck, cart, dolly, or other equipment if needed. Be sure the load is balanced well before moving and remember to push, not pull, the load.
- Clear the path you plan to take of any obstacles or hazards.
- To lift, use slow movements and face your body towards object. Bend your knees and firmly grasp the item with your entire hand, not just fingers.
- Keep your back straight as you lift straight up.
- Center the load in the space between your shoulders and waist.
- To set the item down, bend your knees and slowly lower it to the ground. Do not let go until it is securely on the floor.
- When working together to carry or lift an object, let one person call the orders to direct the lift.
- Use a step stool or steady ladder to reach loads above your shoulders.
- Avoid far-reaching and twisting motions when possible.
- Take breaks and vary the load when moving a lot of product or other items.
- Stack heavy items between the knee and chest height to minimize the need to lift.