HOME HELP & ADVICE General Lifting Guide

General Lifting Guide

One of the best steps you can take to help avoid injuries is to design jobs to avoid heavy manual handling wherever possible. Some DIY enthusiast use automation to minimize the risks associated with lifting heavy items, these include mechanical arms, scissor lifts and conveyors. You can also look for ways to:

  • Make loads smaller or lighter by splitting the load.
  • Improve work area by changing the height, layout and space requirements from any items that can be moved.
  • Note the weight of the load and any imbalance.

Here are other actions you should consider to help protect yourself:

  • Stress the importance of good posture whether standing, sitting or walking.
  • Keep workspaces free of clutter. Cluttered areas can cause awkward positions that make handling tasks more difficult. Remove obstacles, which you could trip over or reach over unnecessarily during normal work activities.
  • Use proper lifting techniques (see Proper Lifting Techniques chart) that can make a job easier
  • Follow common sense measure to prevent injuries. Adjust the height and location of work spaces, see what other equipment is available, and take advantage of reading manufacturers instruction.
  • Ask for help from someone you know to lighten the load of heavy items.

When people stand or sit for long periods of time, their muscles and joints stiffen up, which can lead to injury when they go to lift even something lighter in weight. For example painting areas that are low, and then standing up to lift things can cause injuries, so stretch and take a couple of minutes to relax your body.

Proper Lifting Techniques 


  • Think before lifting - Before reaching, and consider how heavy the object is and how far you'll have to carry it.
  • Lift with the legs - Since leg muscles are stronger than back muscles, bend at the knees and lift with the legs to lessen the pressure on the back.
  • Get help.


  • Avoid planning just to save time, this can be costly experience.
  • Bend at the waist when lifting - or twist at the stomach while turning. Both can cause injury.
  • Lift or carry heavy items without asking for help.

If you feel at any time that you are not able to carry items small or large, and fail to get assistance then do not do it.

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