Many office workers lift or carry heavy items at least occasionally, but most people don’t include material handling as a cause of office injuries. For example, moving boxes of paper between copy machines or unloading cartons from a UPS delivery can be a risk factor for injury, just like moving heavy parts from a conveyor belt. To make your office a safer place, keep the following tips in mind:
- Plan your lift before you pick up your load. How will you hold your item(s), and will your grip be comfortable when walking? To reach your destination, will you be required to climb stairs or open doors? Where will you unload your items? If you’ll be unloading into your car, will you need to balance the item(s) in one hand and look for your car keys with the other? Predict potential obstacles and plan around them to ensure a smooth delivery.
- If carrying large loads, separate the items into two loads and make multiple trips. Or, if you’re pressed for time, ask a co-worker to help.
- If handling heavy or awkward sized loads, purchase a cart to transport materials. There’s probably enough material handling in your office to justify the expense.
- If transporting materials to your car, pull it up to the door to reduce the carrying distance