Toolbox Talk – Safe Moving Techniques

Did you know the biggest cause of injuries in Australian workplaces is from manual tasks and as such this month’s TBT centres on safe lifting and moving techniques that participants can employ to protect themselves from injury.

By incorporating some simple steps to access the risk of moving an item and then deciding on the safest way in which to carry out the task, workers can greatly reduce the risk of suffering a muscular skeletal injury (commonly referred to as sprains and strains).

  1. Create a Plan– Prior to ever bending a knee, a plan needs to be established. Workers need to know where the items will go, if the route and subsequent storage location is clear, if there are doors that need to be opened and if a suitable resting point is available along the route should one be necessary.
  2. Lift with your Legs– While this simple back-saving technique has been bellowed for decades, workers still get in a hurry and bend over instead of squatting to lift heavy loads.
    1. Feet should be shoulder width apart
    2. Keep your head up, shoulders back and a straight spine.
    3. The bend should come from the knees and hips, not the back.
  3. Organise your Workplace– Moving objects from floor height places additional stress on the back and knees, if items can be stored in the mid-thigh to mid-chest range, stress on the body and the risk of injury decreases.
  4. Turn your Feet not your Back– Instead of twisting the back to move objects in a different direction, turn by moving the feet, it will save stress on the spine and reduce the potential of injury to the small muscles in the lower back.
  5. Reduce the load to Reduce the Risk– Instead of lifting a bundle of objects, break loads of goods into lighter allotments.