Eugene Garrison Dec/ 21/ 2018 | 0

The handling of loads is a common task in sectors of high physical demand such as construction, industry and services . Manipulating heavy loads on a frequent basis represents a risk to the worker’s health, which is usually reflected in the appearance of musculoskeletal injuries. To prevent the appearance of such injuries it is important that companies provide their workers with the essential knowledge for the control and proper handling of loads, the details of which will be discussed below.

Standards in cargo handling

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health establishes the following references related to the standard limit when modifying heavy loads:

  • Loads greater than 3 kg represent a potential dorsal-lumbar risk. Despite being a fairly light load, if handled improperly (for example, away from the body, with unstable floors, etc.) could create a health risk.
  • Loads greater than 25 kg generate a risk in themselves, although there are no other unfavorable ergonomic conditions.
  • In the case of women, young or older workers, loads of more than 15 kg should not be handled .
  • In special circumstances, healthy and physically trained workers could handle loads of up to 40 kg, provided the task is carried out sporadically and in safe conditions.

Preventive Measures when Handling Heavy Loads

Some prevention measures to be applied by workers in order to avoid possible accidents at work, are the following:

  1. Place the feet apart parallel to the same distance from the shoulders and resting firmly on the ground.
  2. When bending the knees to lift the load, place it as close as possible to the body and lift it gradually keeping the back straight.
  3. Do not turn the torso while the lifting is being performed.
  4. Keeping the spaces destined for the storage of the materials in order, establishing clear guidelines to store the goods and move them.
  5. The floor of the stores must be clean to avoid one of the most common risks associated with this task; falls due to displacement on slippery surfaces.
  6. The warehouse should have good lighting and ventilation.
  7. Avoid areas and points of congestion, as well as implement measures that facilitate the location and control of stored quantities.
  8. When storing boxes, avoid stacking one on another if you do not have a stable structure against which they can lean.
  9. In case of excessively heavy loads, the worker must request help from another member of the team to lift the material .

Recommended Individual Equipment When Handling Heavy Loads

  1. Safety Helmets : essential for protection against unforeseen events such as falling boxes or materials in warehouses.
  2. Protective gloves : help prevent injuries associated with lifting loads such as scrapes, cuts and muscle disorders.
  3. Anti-slip footwear : a basic ally that reduces the chances of falls when handling loads on unsafe surfaces.

Ideal Conditions of Load Lifting

In general, when handling heavy loads, they must not exceed 25 kg in weight. The figure may suffer variations appropriate to the physical conditions and weight of the worker, however it is advisable not to exceed this measure.

For lifting the load, the worker must have essential knowledge of its handling, such as: a firm grip of the object, neutral position of the wrist , smooth and spaced lifts and favorable conditions of the environment .

When handling seated loads, the maximum recommended weight is 5 kg. Avoid manipulating loads at ground level or above the level of the torso and avoid twists and turns in this position.

When handling heavy loads in equipment, the lifting capacity corresponds to 2/3 of the sum of the individual capacities (if they are two people). When the team is 3 people the lifting capacity of the equipment is reduced to approximately 1/2 of the sum of the individual capacities.

Most Frequent Risks Associated with Load Handling

  • Bruises
  • Vertical fractures.
  • Wounds and musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Thoracolumbar pathology.
  • Frequent pain in the back, shoulders, arms and hands, especially in the dorsal-lumbar area.
  • Hernias
  • Falls and broken bones.
  • Long periods of rehabilitation.

At Naisa we provide you with safety helmets that will help you protect yourself from falling merchandise during your working day.hibition …