The Risks of Lifting, Pulling and Pushing

The Risks of Lifting, Pulling and Pushing
The Risks of Lifting, Pulling and Pushing teaser

30 Jul 2018

It is essential to have good materials handling equipment in your warehouse for a number of reasons. Everybody in business knows that efficiency is key to increased productivity and cost-effectiveness. Materials handling equipment not only makes processes easier, quicker and more efficient, but also reduces the risk of employees being injured or hurt from lifting, pulling and pushing materials and goods. Injured employees equal time off work and potentially difficult compensation claims, something that no business wants or needs. Where there's a risk, there's also a way to manage it.

Risk one: Poor storage.

Not enough storage and storage that is at the wrong height is a common but easily remedied issue. Designing storage so that it is the right size and height for accessibility is a key solution. Doing so, reduces the need for a worker to strain to reach an object and is a highly effective way to reduce the likelihood of injury from straining. Similarly storing goods appropriately is also hugely beneficial. For example, large and awkward bulky items should be stored above knee level and below shoulder height. This will help against back pain from lifting inappropriate weights at inappropriate heights.

Risk Two: Ineffective handling equipment

It is a necessity to have the appropriate materials handling and lifting equipment such as a trolleys or even a ladder. The right tool for the right job is important and will save time and money in the long run. Not only is it important to have the right handling equipment, it is also important for staff to be trained on how to use them safely and properly. Correct usage is just as important as the right equipment so as to avoid unnecessary injury. Not having equipment and training on equipment can make a task longer to achieve and put a person at risk.

Battery Electric Table Lifter 
Pictured: Battery Electric Table Lifter

Risk Three: Inappropriate environment

It can be dangerous moving goods around a warehouse if the warehouse flooring isn’t appropriate. Floors need to be damage and bump free so there's less chance of someone tripping over. Ideally, where possible, a warehouse should have a non-slip floor. Introducing an anti-slip/anti-fatigue mat also assists in reducing any risk of skidding. 

Euromat Anti-Fatigue Matting

PicturedEuromat Anti-Fatigue Matting

Risk Four: No Training

If your business involves people moving goods around then you have a duty to protect your employees from musculoskeletal injuries and back pain. Providing training on how to use any handling equipment properly is essential. It is also important that they know and understand any risks of handling goods. Training on correct handling techniques should be given and should include how to assess load, the task ahead, the environment, and their individual ability.

It is worth getting workers involved in their own health and safety measures. Asking them to identify risks and solutions will give them a sense of responsibility and ownership so they are actively involved in their own health and safety. Eliminating risk by providing manual handling equipment is a fundamental part of running a successful warehouse.

Are you looking for materials handling products? Backsafe Australia have a range of high quality Materials Handling products for you. Just contact us at 1300 305 314 or send us an email at and we will ‘lighten your load’ for you.

Back To News Stories