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 >
What types of protective clothing should be worn?
- Lightweight, flexible, tear and puncture-resistant clothing.
- Safety boots with toe caps and slip-resistant soles.
- Protective gloves, appropriate for the materials being handled.
DO NOT WEAR
- Aprons, coats.
- Clothing with exposed buttons, zippers or loose flaps.
- Heavy duty mitts.
What should you do before lifting?
- Always check before lifting to see if mechanical aids such as hoists, lift trucks dollies or wheelbarrows are available.
- Get help with heavy or awkward loads.
- Assess the weight of the load.
- Identify the weight of the load.
- Be sure that you can lift the load without over-exertion.
- Be sure that the load is "free" to move.
- Check that the planned location of the load is free of obstacles and debris.
- Be sure that the path to the planned location of the load is clear. Grease, oil, water, litter and debris can cause slips and falls.
- Particular handling and lifting techniques are needed for different kinds of loads or materials being handled (for example, compact loads, small bags, large sacks, drums and barrels, cylinders, sheet materials like metal or glass).
- Do not lift if you are not sure that you can handle the load safely.
What are some general tips for lifting?
- Prepare for the lift by warming up the muscles.
- Stand close to the load and face the way you intend to move.
- Use a wide stance to gain balance.
- Be sure you have a good grip on the load.
- Keep arms straight.
- Tighten abdominal muscles.
- Tuck chin into the chest.
- Initiate the lift with body weight.
- Lift the load as close to and as centred to the body as possible.
- Lift smoothly without jerking.
- Avoid twisting and side bending while lifting.
- Avoid carrying loads with only one hand.
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.