OSH Answers Fact Sheets

Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >

Search all fact sheets:

Type a word, a phrase, or ask a question

MMH - Compact Bags

What are some tips for carrying compact bags?

The best way to handle a bag depends on its size, weight and how far it is to be carried.

When lifting, remember to:

  • Straddle the end of the bag.
  • Bend the hips and knees.
  • Keep the back straight.
  • Grasp the bag with both hands under the closer end. Keep elbows inside the thighs.
  • Lean forward, straightening the knees to set the bag upright.
  • Readjust the straddle position moving feet closer to the bag.
  • Readjust the grasp, with one hand clasping the bag against the body and the other under it.
  • Stand up by thrusting off with the back leg and continuing in an upward and forward direction.
  • Thrust the bag up with the knee while straightening the body.
  • Put the bag on the shoulder opposite the knee used to thrust the bag up.
  • Stabilize the bag on the shoulder.
  • Move off without bending sideways.

What should be done when lowering the bag?

Avoid unloading a bag from the shoulder directly to floor level. Use an intermediate platform or get help from a coworker.

  • Stand close to the platform.
  • Place one foot in front of the platform.
  • Bend hips and knees.
  • Keep the back straight.
  • Ease the bag off the shoulder and put it upright on the platform.
  • Pull the bag slightly over the edge of the platform.
  • Stand close to the platform with the bag touching the chest.
  • Clasp the bag against the body with one hand, the other hand holding bottom of the bag.
  • Step back.
  • Bend hips and knees, keeping back straight.
  • Ease the bag on the floor.
Ease the bag on the floor

Document last updated on August 8, 2002
Document confirmed current on October 7, 2013


Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.