Workplace Injuries

Forklift Safety

09 Aug Workplace Injuries

In jobs where physical labor is needed, it’s common to have injuries. Lifting injuries, especially. Employees who daily perform physical labor are likely, at some point or other in a career, to suffer some discomfort or injury in the shoulder, neck, or back area. Injuries like these can affect the entire musculoskeletal system. Simple wrist sprains and muscle pulls might sideline an employee at some point in his or her career. But, knowing the potential hazards and using good practices to keep safe in the workplace, it’s less and less likely.


Obviously, the risk for musculoskeletal injuries increase dramatically the heavier the item. Any load over fifty pounds. Heavy weights are best moved around a warehouse or jobsite using machinery like a manually-operated hand truck, or by the mechanical means of a forklift. Even if it’s just a few feet in horizontal distance it may not be worth the effort or the risk. Use ramps to move around machinery or to load items on a truck—any time someone must bend at the waist it strains the lower back. If someone is intending to lift something they should remember the adage of lifting with their legs instead of their back, but also add to that as saying whatever it is that needs lifting should be placed at a height to accommodate the employee. While you lift, avoid twisting or reaching if you can. To lift an object, start with it as close to your body as possible. To resist twisting, make sure you use your feet to navigate turns instead of your waist.

It’s human nature to lean into the direction of the turn, but, with added weight, it’s best for the body to remain in line and for the feet to do all the work. Also, if you are going to lift something, make sure you have a good handhold. Oftentimes, cardboard boxes will have handles on the sides to make for easier carrying.

Machinery in conjunction with well-trained employees makes any job safer and easier. If you have any questions as to how a forklift or other type of workhorse-type machinery would work best for you, call Anderson Forklift today.

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