MMH - Compact Bags

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What are some tips for carrying compact bags?

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The best way to handle a bag depends on its size, weight, stability, 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.
  • Use a secure grip.
  • 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.
  • Lift the bag up with the knee while straightening the body.
  • Do not twist your body.
  • Put the bag on the shoulder opposite the knee used to thrust the bag up.
  • Stabilize the bag on the shoulder.
  • Begin moving without bending sideways.

What should be done when lowering the bag?

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

  • 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 the 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

What are more tips?

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  • Avoid lifting from the floor whenever possible.
  • Use mechanical assistive devices such as a hand truck, a scissor lift, a load lifter or a pneumatic lifter to raise or lower the load.
  • Lift with the help of a co-worker (preferably of similar height, if possible).
  • Raise or lower the work surface to suit the height of the worker.
  • Wear gloves that are of the proper size for the individual and that have a surface that will increase grip stability.
  • Pad the shoulder to provide a cushion.

  • Fact sheet confirmed current: 2023-12-13
  • Fact sheet last revised: 2017-08-01