Typically I don’t speak too highly of cheaters, but when it comes to cheating and being more safe in the workplace, I smile wide and look the other direction. Most of us have been through more safety training courses on safe lifting than we care to remember, let alone brag about it. We know we are supposed to bend at the knees, keep our back straight, keep the load close to our body and get a good grip. Rarely do safety professional tell you how to cheat when you lift, but today is your lucky day.
Here’s the lifting cheat
Get a wider stance. Yes, a wider stance. The wider stance effectively shortens your range-of-motion or distance that you must actually lift the object, bringing it closer to your natural carrying position. A wider stance may be able to shorten your lifting distance by as much as 3 inches, without compromising stability and safety. The image above the woman has a shorter overall distance to make the weight travel to reach her shoulder height. This same principle applies to any items that you may need to lift around the office.
Another way to reduce the overall range-of-motion is to reduce your shoe height. Some soles are simply larger than others. Finding a shoe that meets your PPE requirements with a thinner sole may also reduce your range-of-motion. And as we all know, most back injuries are due to repetitive motion, so over the years all those inches may add up to a retirement without back pain.