Tips and Ideas

How to lift heavy objects safely

Many healthcare professionals are required to lift heavy boxes during the course of their duties, either to move them to more appropriate locations, to store medication, or to access medication they need to administer.
The safe handling of medication is essential to protect both the healthcare professional and the medication. Many types of medication are vulnerable to damage if dropped, subjected to excessive vibrations or exposed to inappropriate temperature fluctuations, so it is important that they are handled with care.

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To safely lift a heavy object, such as a box containing vital medications or medical equipment, the following steps must be followed:

1. Adopt a stable position.

Stand in front of the box to be lifted, with your feet your shoulders’ width apart and firmly planted.

2. Keep your back straight.

Bend down onto one knee and tip the box gently to assess its weight. Determine whether it can be lifted by one person or you should summon help. It is always better to err on the side of caution to ensure the safe handling of medication, so ask for help if needed.

3. Take a firm grip.

Clasp the box midway down both sides and slowly step back up, keeping your back straight. It may help to exhale on the lift.

4. Move steadily.

Walk carefully to your destination, taking care to avoid twisting or tripping over hazards such as door stops or computer cables. Ask someone to clear the way if necessary.

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5. Same in reverse.

To put the box down, keep your back straight, drop slowly and steadily onto one knee, and gently place the box onto the floor. Stand up carefully.

By following these steps, you will safeguard your health and the integrity of the medications you handle.

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