While OSHA doesn’t have an established maximum limit for how much weight workers should lift, they recommend lifting no more than 50 pounds unassisted. More than that and either a lifting device or human helper should be recruited. So, if you’re moving a 75-pound air conditioner component from point A to point B, don’t be a hero. Get some help. You may be able to get it moved by yourself, but your back and muscles may hate you for it.
If your company provides dollies or hand trucks for you to use at any job site, do it. They’re invaluable helpers and could save you from an incapacitating injury caused by strain from lifting—an injury that could put your earning power on hold.
Dolly to the Rescue
* Be sure the dolly is in good working condition.
* Pay attention to the load capacity. Don’t try to get the job done in fewer loads by overloading the dolly—it may fail and cause an injury.
* If stacking more than one item on the dolly, put the largest, heaviest ones on the bottom, centering each load over the axle.
* Four-wheeled hand trucks can easily tip if the load is off-center. Be aware when loading and unloading.
* Use your legs, not your back, to get a loaded, two-wheeled hand truck rolling.
* Push, don’t pull, unless you need to maneuver in a tight place or when going through a doorway.
* Watch where you’re going and make sure your path is clear.
* Maintain control at all times, especially when going down an incline or stairs. Ask for help if you need additional muscle to avoid “losing” the load.
* If the load shifts, stop to readjust it before continuing.
Used right, a hand truck can help you do your job more safely and efficiently and avoid an injury that could affect you for the rest of your life. Dolly can create a very moving on-the-job experience!
This article is only for general information and recommendations regarding risk prevention and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations presented may help reduce or eliminate the risk of loss, but are not guaranteed to do so. Seek qualified counsel with questions specific to your circumstances. ©2016 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.
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