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Properly Lift and Carry Safely


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.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: < 5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. 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.
  2. Stretch your legs and back before lifting anything.
  3. If possible, ask another employee for help in lifting and carrying shelving, product or other items.
  4. 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.
  5. Clear the path you plan to take of any obstacles or hazards.
  6. 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.
  7. Keep your back straight as you lift straight up.
  8. Center the load in the space between your shoulders and waist.
  9. 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.


  1. When working together to carry or lift an object, let one person call the orders to direct the lift.
  2. Use a step stool or steady ladder to reach loads above your shoulders.
  3. Avoid far-reaching and twisting motions when possible.
  4. Take breaks and vary the load when moving a lot of product or other items.
  5. Stack heavy items between the knee and chest height to minimize the need to lift.

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