According to Safe Work Australia, muscle strains and sprains are the most common workplace injuries in Australia, accounting for almost a third of all reported injuries1. Most of these injuries are caused by lifting, pushing or pulling objects.
Like any other hazard, the risks associated with manual handling and lifting should be identified using a risk management tool, like a Take 5, and controls chosen according to the Hierarchy of Controls – from most effective to least effective.
Be SMART with manual handling. Before lifting an object ask yourself the following questions.
- Do I have to lift this object?
- Can I move it in a safer way, for example getting someone to help me?
- Can I use a lifting aid, like a trolley?
- Are there procedures to follow that can help me lift the object safely?
- Is there any PPE that can help me lift the object safely and efficiently, like gloves with extra grip?
If you have to move the object, on your own without the use of a lifting aid, be SMART about it!
|Size up the load
|Move the load close to your body
|Always bend your knees
|Raise the load using your legs
|Turn your feet in the direction you want to move the load
So, be SMART and stay safe!
For further information on manual handling and lifting, contact Pertrain Pty Ltd on (07) 5445 2233.
- Safe Work Australia, Australian work-related injury experience by sex and age, 2009-10, http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/austwri_bysexage2009-10
- Pertrain Pty Ltd, Shift Materials Using Manual Handling Methods Training Package, 2013.