Preventing the Most Common Materials Handling Injuries

Posted on 12/3/2013 by Joel Gregier

For many US workers, handling and storing materials in the workplace is an every-day job responsibility. “Materials handling” takes place in a number of ways and involves operations including, but not limited to:
  • Working cranes to move heavy objects,
  • Utilizing fork lifts to transport loads,
  • Stacking and storing bulky items like drums or lumber,
  • Feeding raw materials into manufacturing units, and
  • Manually lifting and carrying items like heavy boxes or bulky bags in the workplace.
These types of daily activities are critical to general industry. When performed incorrectly, though, these tasks can cause injuries, sometimes serious ones.
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Injury Frequencies for Materials Handling and Storing
The US Department of Labor collects information on workplace injuries and makes that data available to the public. According to its most recent statistics, over 15% of injuries that require days away from work or restricted or transferred duties (DART) are caused by overexertion in lifting or lowering.
Causes of Injuries Involving Handling and Storage
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 50% of all DART injuries are soft-tissue damage (sprains, strains, tears, soreness, and bruises). Common causes of soft-tissue injuries include lifting objects that are too heavy, are too bulky, or have their weight unevenly distributed. During the lifting process, employees may bend, twist, or turn their bodies in ways that result in injury. It is critical to train employees on proper lifting techniques to prevent these types of injuries.
Protect your workforce with expert OSHA training from Lion Technology. Convenient and effective, OSHA online courses are available 24/7 and can be completed at your employees’ own pace. From comprehensive 10-hour training to courses on material handling and storage, fall protection, electrical safety, hearing conservation, and more, you will find a complete list of training at

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