TOOLBOX TALK 21/60
TOPIC: LIFTING AND MATERIAL HANDLING
OBJECTIVE: TO ENSURE SAFE ERGONOMICS WHEN LIFTING AND HANDLING MATERIALS
Did you know about 1 out of every 4 lost time injuries are caused by handling heavy materials?
Being the supervisor, you know that handling materials is a routing part of the job. Your team has to lift and carry many objects every day. These include items that are:
- Heavy and awkward sizes, or
- Difficult because they have handled them repeatedly for many hours.
Tell them about these common-sense rules:
- Lift comfortably – choose the position that feels best, with or without a straight back.
- Avoid unnecessary bending – do not place objects on the ground if they must be picked up again later. Use a table, platform, or hoist if these are available.
- Avoid unnecessary twisting – turn your feet, not your hips or shoulders. Leave enough room to shift your feet when handling to not have to twist. Do not twist and bend at the same time.
- Avoid reaching out – handle heavy objects close to the body. Avoid the long reach out to pick up an object. Get help with bulky loads.
- Avoid excessive weights – if the load is too heavy, don’t try to handle it yourself. Get help or use a mechanical aid if one is available
- Lift gradually – lift slowly and smoothly. Avoid jerking to lift or pull a load. Get a good grip on an object to prevent it from slipping.
- Stay in good physical shape – get proper exercise. Sit-ups with knees bent are particularly good for the back
Questions you can use to get them talking:
- What do you do when there’s something on the job which is too heavy to lift by yourself?
- What do you think are the heaviest and most difficult items to handle on this job?
- Do we have enough mechanical aids available for you? Do we need more?
- Has anyone ever been injured – or know of someone who has – because they didn’t lift something correctly or lifted something that was too heavy for them?
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