Plan Ahead and Use Proper Technique When Lifting Heavy Materials

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Construction work often requires moving materials around the jobsite that involves pushing, pulling and lifting. Because construction materials are often heavy and awkward, you should pay special attention to moving them by hand or with the help of a crane or forklift. NAHB has a set of resources for members to encourage safe practices while lifting and moving heavy loads on the jobsite. The resources, both video and written, are available in Spanish and English. Use some of the best practices below when lifting and moving materials:
  • Seek assistance when lifting heavier objects, especially any item 50 lbs. or greater.
  • Practice safe lifting techniques by keeping feet shoulder width apart, squatting with knees—not bending the back—and keeping items close to the body.
  • If possible, break down loads into smaller units or order in smaller quantities to limit strain of lifting.
  • Plan ahead and use mechanical means such as a dolly, ramps or lift gates for trucks, or a forklift and crane for larger items.
  • Change work routines and take frequent breaks.
Much more is available in the NAHB Video Toolbox Talk, Material Handling and Safe Lifting, including the video below. The Material Handling and Safe Lifting safety resources were developed in partnership with the Job-Site Safety Institute and the National Housing Endowment. For more information on jobsite safety resources, contact Rob Matuga. [bc_video video_id="5998351408001" account_id="260701690001" player_id="BJMWPKF2" embed="in-page" padding_top="56%" autoplay="" min_width="0px" max_width="610px" mute="" width="100%" height="100%" ]  

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