It is not only the more hazardous activities inside the mine that could present health risks – but also tasks as simple as lifting objects from the floor! Many of these back and spine injuries can be prevented through training of the correct techniques to apply when lifting.
We would like to refer to a few of these techniques and the training that could enhance the safety of all mining employees.
Special lifting situations such as group lifts and lifting oversized objects require special training to prevent accidents and injuries.
Aside from teaching employees the basic safe lifting technique, you may also need to train for special lifting situations such as:
- Lifting oversized or particularly heavy loads
- Lifting bags and sacks
- Lifting object down from overhead
When two or more employees lift and carry objects together, they should:
- Work as a team.
- Designate one person to direct the lift.
- Lift at the same time.
- Keep the load level when carrying.
- Keep alert for obstacles in their path.
- Move smoothly together.
- Unload at the same time.
- Lifting Oversized or Heavy Loads
Lifting oversized or very heavy loads requires special steps as well. Lifters should:
- Size up the load and determine how many people will be needed for the lift.
- Use mechanical material handling aids whenever possible to spare backs.
- Check the route and make sure there is adequate clearance for oversize loads.
- Lift at the same time, and keep the load level when carrying.
- Put the load down part way to rest if necessary.
- Be careful when traveling and unloading not to catch fingers and hands in pinch points, such as between the object and a doorjamb or wall, or between the object and the surface onto which it's being unloaded.
Lifting Bags and Sacks
Heavy bags and sacks can be awkward to handle, which increases the risk of injury. Teach employees to:
- Assume the safe lifting position (squat by bending at the hips and knees, feet shoulder-width apart; maintain the back's natural curves; and let the legs do the lifting).
- Grasp the load at opposite top and bottom corners.
- Power the body up with legs and use arms to raise the load to rest on the hip.
- Stand fully and move the load to rest on the shoulder.
Lifting Objects Down from Overhead
Lifting objects down is another special lifting situation. Train employees to:
- Use a ladder or step stool if necessary to reach high places.
- Slide the load close to the body, being sure to keep a solid footing and a firm grasp.
- Let arms and legs do the work.
- Have a buddy standing below to receive the object if necessary.
Remember: Train to Prevent Injuries!!
[Content kindly provided by Moolmans Mining]