How to Safely
Handle and Lift Materials
By Universal Underwriters Group's
Loss Prevention Department
Did you know that nearly half of
all occupational injuries involve overexertion? Overexertion injuries
include strains, sprains, pulled muscles and repetitive motion injuries.
Soft tissue back injuries in particular are some of the most expensive
and debilitating types of injuries that occur in the workplace today.
Automotive recycling industry employees
are especially susceptible to these types of injuries as a result
of the tasks they perform at work. A dismantler's day is spent bending
over, crouching, sanding, pushing and pulling sheet metal. They
lean over engine compartments, removing transmissions and engine
parts daily. Other employees receive, move and stock transmissions,
batteries, engines and other heavy parts regularly.
Material Handling Guidelines
Provide necessary material handling
equipment, including transmission jacks, engine hoists, floor jacks,
car pushers, pallet jacks and forklift trucks.
Train technicians on how to use
shop equipment and conduct periodic performance checks to ensure
that they are following company procedures.
Maintain equipment in safe operating
Provide employee training on safe
lifting and material handling.
Integrate the training into actual
work situations to be most effective.
Keep floors clean, dry and free
Arrange tools, materials and equipment
in close proximity to the technicians.
Provide conveyers to move parts
up to second floor storage areas to eliminate lifting and carrying
Proper Lifting Techniques
for Employee Training
Think before you lift! Assess what
you are about to lift, and know where you are going to put it down.
Don't lift the object if it is too
heavy. Get help.
Bend at the knees -- not your waist.
Firm up your stomach muscles.
Hug the object you are lifting;
get it as close to your body as possible.
Lift with your leg muscles.
Keep in mind that while these lifting
techniques are generally accepted guidelines, they can't overcome
an individual employee's physical limitations.
Taking the time to educate your
employees on material handling and safe lifting techniques will
protect their health and physical well-being while reducing your
loss exposure for costly workers compensation claims.
Gerry Cecil is the National Account Executive
for the Special Account Services division of Universal Underwriters
Group. For more information about how Universal Underwriters Group,
Special Account Services can help your automotive recycling business
needs call 800-840-8842, ext. 4845, visit www.uuic.com/specaccts/ara.asp
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.