Safe lifting and carrying techniques, adapted from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Safety Requirement for a Safe Workplace.
Points to Emphasize:
- Carry heavy or awkward equipment as a team
- Lift with the strong leg muscles, not the weaker back muscles
Proper methods of lifting and handling protect against injury. Proper lifting makes work easier. You need to "think" about what you are going to do before bending to pick up an object. Over time, safe lifting technique should become a habit.
Following are the basic steps of safe lifting and handling heavy music equipment or instruments.
- Size up the load and check overall conditions. Don't attempt the lift by yourself if the load appears to be too heavy or awkward. Check that there is enough space for movement, and that the footing is good. "Good housekeeping" ensures that you won't trip or stumble over an obstacle.
- Make certain that your balance is good. Feet should be shoulder width apart, with one foot beside and the other foot behind the object that is to be lifted.
- Bend the knees; don't stoop. Keep the back straight, but not vertical. (Tucking in the chin straightens the back.)
- Grip the load with the palms of your hands and your fingers. The palm grip is much more secure. Tuck in the chin again to make certain your back is straight before starting to lift.
- Use your body weight to start the load moving, then lift by pushing up with the legs. This makes full use of the strongest set of muscles.
- Keep the arms and elbows close to the body while lifting.
- Carry the load close to the body. Don't twist your body while carrying the load. To change direction, shift your foot position and turn your whole body.
- Watch where you are going!
- To lower the object, bend the knees. Don't stoop. Make sure your hands and feet are clear when placing the load.
Make it a habit to follow the above steps when lifting anything-even a relatively light object.
Links to FLC Safety Resources:
Campus Health and Safety Policies:
Environmental Health Page