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Lifting Best Practices

Safe lifting is a function of the amount of weight being lifted and the technique being used. Always test the weight before lifting. If it is too heavy, have someone help or use mechanical lifting aids such as hand trucks, shelf trucks or platform truck. The following are helpful hints on the use of proper lifting techniques:

  • Know where you are going before lifting the load. Pre-plan the lift.
  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart for good balance.
  • Take a deep breath and tighten your stomach muscles just prior to the lift. Conditioned stomach muscles provide excellent support for the lower back.
  • Bend at your knees not your hips.
  • Lift using your leg muscles to reduce the load on your back.
  • Lift smoothly and avoid jerking the load. Sudden movement and weight shifts can injure your back.
  • Hold the load close to your body. The further the load is from your body, the greater the stress to your lower back.
  • Turn with your feet and avoid twisting.


If you are uncomfortable with or unable to, lift the object(s) in question please contact facilities for assistance at (405) 208-5382.

For additional information or training on proper lifting techniques please contact Risk Management at (405-208-5029 or risk@okcu.edu