MMH - Compact Loads

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How should a compact load be lifted?

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A compact load can be lifted between the knees.

Examples of compact load

When lifting, remember to:

  • Look and plan ahead. Make sure your path is free of obstructions.
  • Stand close behind the load.
  • Check that you can get a good grip on the load.
  • Wear gloves, if necessary, to prevent scrapes or bruises.
  • Straddle the load:
    • Place the leading foot flat beside the load in the direction of travel.
    • Place the rear in the direction of travel.
  • Bend the hips and knees.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Grasp the load with elbows inside the thighs:
    • Use a power grasp for loads with handles.
    • Use slings or hooks to improve grasp when loads do not have handles.
    • Use blocks under loads without handles to make lifting them up easier and safer.
    • Use a ledge grasp for loads without handles.
Grasp the load
  • Grasp with one hand at the outer, upper corner, over the leading foot and the other hand on the lower, opposite corner.
  • Lean forward with the rear arm straight. This position gets the load moving.
  • Stand up by thrusting off with the back leg and continuing in an upward and forward direction.
  • Keep the load close to the body.
  • Use your thigh and leg muscles, not your back, as you lift in one, smooth motion.
  • Keep the rear arm straight.
  • Move off without twisting the body.
  • Keep the load at a reasonable height so you can see where you are going.
Lifting a load

What should be remembered when putting a load down?

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  • Take a wide stance with one foot in front of the other.
  • Keep the load close to the body.
  • Keep the back straight.
  • Bend the hips and knees.
  • Set the load down onto the ground.
  • Keep the load tilted to avoid bruising fingers.
  • Remove fingers from under the load.
  • Stand up smoothly, easing muscles.
  • Avoid jerky releases.

  • Fact sheet confirmed current: 2021-02-01
  • Fact sheet last revised: 2009-07-06