How to Lift a Heavy Object Safely

Lifting heavy objects on your own may look impressive, but it can cause serious injury and strain unless it’s done safely. Before you lift an object, always test its weight before lifting it. Depending on the object’s weight, you may lift it by hand or need equipment to transport the object over longer distances. If you have a job that requires constant heavy lifting or you’re just moving furniture around, practicing safe techniques can help lighten the load.

EditLifting Objects with Proper Form
Determine if the load is solid or contains liquid. While solids won’t move around when you transport them, weight can shift around if you’re carrying a container with liquid. If you can’t see into the container you’re transporting, jostle it slightly and listen for any liquid inside. If it is a liquid container, be sure not to tip or lean the object while you’re carrying it.[1]
Check solid objects for loose or moving parts before you lift them. These may fall off or change how the weight is distributed.

Try picking up 1 corner of the object to get an idea of its weight. Kneel on the ground next to your object and grab the corner with both hands. Try lifting up the object so 1 corner is completely off the ground. By lifting a corner, you can assume what the object’s total weight is and determine if you can lift it on your own.[2]
If you can’t lift the corner on your own, don’t attempt to lift the entire object.

If you’re trying to lift a tall object, such as a bookshelf, tip it onto its longest side first so the weight is easier to carry.

Stand in front of the object with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stand about from the object. Keep your feet at or slightly wider than shoulder-width. Position one foot slightly in front of the other so it’s along the side of the object you’re lifting.[3]
If you’re lifting an oblong object such as a table, stand on one of the long sides so the weight is easily distributed.

Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes while trying to lift something off of the ground.

Bend your knees and keep your back straight as you lower yourself. Keep your knees bent as you slowly lower your body to the ground. Tighten your abs as you squat down to help keep your body straight and support your lower back.[4]Always keep your knees bent throughout the lift to help maintain your center of balance.

If the object isn’t on the ground, bend down as far as you need in order to grab the best handhold.

Grab the load so the weight is evenly distributed between your hands. Find sturdy handholds that you can easily hold onto. Aim to hold the object near the bottom or by its heaviest point so you can easily control the weight. Make sure you have a firm grip so the object doesn’t slip out of your hands.[5]For example, grab a table from the longest side and hold onto the tabletop or box apron underneath. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart to support the weight.

If the object has handles, use them if possible.

Wear work gloves if you want to get a better grip on your object.

Do not attempt to carry the object with only one hand.

Keep your back straight as you lift the load with your legs. Hug the object tightly against your chest as you straighten your legs. Support as much of the weight as you can just using your legs. Don’t arch or bend your back as you lift the object since it may cause pain. Keep lifting the object until you’re in a standing position.[6]
If you start lifting the object but can’t get back into standing position, set it down and ask for help. Don’t carry the object if you’re straining to lift it.

Walk slowly to transport the object. Keep your legs slightly bent to keep your balance. Take small steps so you don’t lose control of the object. Keep your eyes in front of you rather than looking down at the object. When you need to make a turn, shuffle your feet until you’re facing the right way.[7]
Avoid twisting your body while you lift the object.

If you need to carry the object a long distance, take a short break at the halfway point so you can rest and readjust your grip. Set the object down at waist-level if you can so you can easily pick it up again.

Bend your knees to set the object down. When you reach the area where you need to put the object, keep your back straight and bend your knees into a squat position. Make sure the bottom of the object has full contact with the ground before letting go.[8]
If you’re lifting and carrying boxes, set them at waist-level so you don’t have to bend down when you open them.

Ask others to help carry the object if you don’t feel comfortable with the weight. If you’re unsure whether you can carry the object after you test the weight, don’t try to lift it on your own. Instead, ask for a few helpers to carry the object with you to evenly distribute the weight between you.[9]
If there isn’t anyone to help you, search for a hand dolly or other mechanical assistance.

EditUsing Lifting Equipment at Work
Follow any heavy lifting policies your job has put in place. Check with your supervisor to see what the policies are for transporting heavy objects while you’re at the job. Go over the rules and policies so you don’t hurt you or anyone else while you’re working.
For example, if you need to move something on a factory floor and don’t know how, ask somebody else what should be done instead of lifting it on your own.

Don’t attempt to lift something if you’re not properly trained with the equipment.

Use a moving dolly if you need to move large appliances. Moving dollies allow you to move large appliances on your own across a flat surface. Put the lip of your moving dolly underneath the object. Strap the object into place on the dolly so it doesn’t fall off. Tip the dolly backward toward you to lift the object. Roll the object to the area you want to set it down and pull the bottom out.[10]
Ask for help if you can’t tip the object back on your own.

Moving dollies can be rented from most hardware stores.

Lift heavy objects with a shoulder dolly if you’re with a partner. Shoulder dollies are harnesses worn by 2 people so they can carry a heavy object between them. Slip the harness on over your head so it makes an X in the middle of your back and so the metal buckle is at waist level. Have a person stand on each side of the object put the lifting strap underneath. Hold onto each side of the object and lift with your legs at the same time.[11]
Shoulder dollies can be purchased online.

Shoulder dollies work well for large and bulky furniture, such as bookcases or desks.

Use a forklift or hand jack if you’re lifting pallets. Many warehouses or businesses that require heavy lifting have forklifts or pallet jacks to transport heavier loads. Line the tines of your forklift or pallet jack with the openings on the sides of the pallet. Either pull the lever on the forklift that raises the load, or crank down on the handle of a manual pallet jack to lift the load.[12]
Check if your company or area requires a permit for driving a forklift.

Make sure the weight is evenly distributed on the pallet so nothing falls off or tips over.

Wear shoes that have a firm grip on the ground, such as boots or tennis shoes.[13]
Never attempt to lift more than you’re comfortable carrying. If you doubt that you can carry the object safely, ask for help.[14]
Don’t try to lift heavy objects that are above your head since they may fall on top of you.

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Today in History for 27th February 2019

Historical Events

1670 – Jews expelled from Austria by order of Leopold I
1865 – Civil War skirmish near Sturgeon, Missouri
1900 – Battle at Pietershoogte during the Boer War
1912 – Lord Kitchener opens Khartoum-El Obeid (Nyala) railway
1961 – The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation is inaugurated
1987 – Donald Regan resigns as White House chief of staff

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1850 – Henry Edwards Huntington, American railroad exec
1881 – Luitzen [Bertus] Brouwers, Dutch mathematician
1913 – Frank Allaun, British MP (L)
1927 – Michael Butler, Pro-Provost/chairman (Royal College of Art)
1936 – Chuck Glaser, American singer (Glaser Bros-Getting to Me Again), born in Spalding, Nebraska
1937 – Donald MacKay, CEO (Scottish Enterprise), born in Griffith, Australia (d. 1977)

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1167 – Robert of Melun, English philosopher/bishop of Hereford, dies
1805 – Stefan Paluselli, composer, dies at 57
1892 – Louis Vuitton, French founder of the Louis Vuitton brand of leather goods now owned by LVMH, dies at 70
1992 – Marinus Ruppert, Dutch trade union leader (CNV), dies at 80
1993 – Jose Duval, actor (Juan Valdez), dies at 72
1995 – Bernard Cornfield, financier, dies at 67

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Write Goodbye Letters

Saying goodbye is rarely easy, no matter what the circumstances are. A letter or email can help ease the transition for you and the people you’re parting with, and you can use one in a variety of situations. For instance, you may write a professional goodbye letter if you’re leaving your current job, or you may write a letter to your friend or partner if you’ve decided you need to go separate ways. You can also use a letter to help yourself heal from a broken relationship, one you keep to yourself instead of sending. You can even write goodbye letters to your loved ones to keep with your will, so they always have a part of you even after you’re gone.

EditSample Letters
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5c75fd315cdb0’)Sample Goodbye Letter to FriendWH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5c75fd315d1d8’)Sample Goodbye Letter to Boyfriend
EditComposing a Professional Goodbye Letter
Be selective about who you send letters to. For the most part, you should only send out emails to people you know directly. Send emails to people you were friends with, co-workers you got along with but didn’t know as well, people under you, and your manager.[1]
The exception to this rule is if you’ve been at the head of the company for more than 3 years. In that case, it’s fine to send out an email to everyone in the company.

Begin with the date you’re leaving and a short explanation. The opening paragraph should establish the purpose of the letter, the fact that you’re leaving. Include the date of your last day and the reason you’re leaving, if it’s appropriate. For instance, saying you were fired is probably not the best thing to include; however, if you’re taking a position at a new company, you can include that information in letters to your friends.[2]
For example, you might write, “Just dropping a note to let you know that Friday, January 10 will be my last day at Rogers Incorporated. While I’m sad to be leaving, I know great opportunities are ahead.”

Use the second paragraph to establish what the person meant to you. While a form letter is appropriate sometimes, such as when you’re writing to the whole company, in general, you should personalize each letter to the person. Tell them how much you enjoyed working with them and what you appreciate about your professional relationship with them.[3]
For instance, you could say, “I’ve so enjoyed working together with you during my time here. You’ve got a great mind, and I love how you are always able to settle disputes. I hope we can stay in touch in the future.”

For a more generic letter, you might write, “I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together at this company. You all are hard workers, as well as being creative and team-driven. Let’s keep in touch going forward.”

Say what you enjoyed about working there. This option works especially well in a less personal letter. It’s a positive way to connect with the people who are still there, and it helps you end on a good note.[4]
For example, you could say, “I loved working at Rogers Incorporated. The relaxed atmosphere created the perfect environment for creativity to flourish. Everyone is so positive, and I’ll miss that as I move on.”

Keep the letter positive. A goodbye letter isn’t the place to complain or air grievances. You definitely don’t want to burn bridges that you may need later! Instead, stay positive and keep it civil. That way, you can still network with the people you worked with later. You never know when you’ll need that connection.[5]

End with your contact information and a positive closing. Your personal (professional) email is enough for most people. However, if you’d like to have the occasional lunch with someone, you might include your phone number or even home address.[6]
For a closing, you might write, “I wish you the best of luck moving forward, and I hope to hear from you soon!”

EditWriting a Personal Goodbye Letter to a Friend or Partner
Write a letter for yourself first if it’s a bad goodbye. That is, if you’re breaking up with a partner or letting go of a toxic friend, it’s best to get your own feelings out of the way first. Take time to write a healing letter and list all your complaints and hurt feelings. Use this letter to vent everything, and then you can move on to writing a letter for your friend or partner.[7]
The first letter tends to be emotionally charged. You may want to blame the other person for everything or hurl insults. But getting it out of the way is good because then you can move on to a calmer, more rational letter.

Focus on the good times. Spend at least part of the letter talking about what you like about the person and your relationship together. In most relationships, there are good times as well as bad, and no matter why you’re saying goodbye, you can still end on a good note by taking time to think about what was good.[8]
You could write about good memories, like how you met or when you fell in love.

Talk about what you like about the other person. Even though you’re saying goodbye to the person, you can still note what you liked about the person in the past. You don’t need to trash the person to move on, and if you really feel the need to, then maybe that’s a letter you should keep to yourself instead.[9]
For example, you could say, “I love your kind spirit, your willingness to go on adventures, and your compassion for everyone you met. You made me want to be a better person, and for that, I will always be grateful.”

Apologize and forgive the other person. If you’re breaking up, you both likely played some part in how ended. Don’t hold back. Apologize for any part you played in what happened, and if you can, offer forgiveness to the other person. That way, you don’t part with bad blood between you.[10]
For example, you might write, “I’m sorry for how things have ended between us, and I apologize for my part in that. I don’t hold any grudges against you, and I hope you won’t hold any against me.”

End with a kind sentiment if you can. If this person was special to you, you can make note of that at the end. Discuss how you’ll still think about the person in the future, for instance, and how you’ll remember the good times fondly, despite the fact that you need to go your separate ways.[11]
For instance, you might say, “I’m sorry that we have to go our separate ways, but I think we just don’t work together anymore. No matter what, you will always hold a special place in my heart.”

EditLeaving Your Loved Ones a Letter with Your Will
Write these letters now. You never know when today will be the last day. While that’s a stark fact, it’s also one we all must live with. Therefore, if you want to be sure your loved ones have something to hold on to when you’re gone, you should write them and include them in your will now, not wait until you are too sick to do it.[12]
This type of letter offers a way for you to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, offer memories, and even apologize for past mistakes.

If you want to, you can continue to update these letters or rewrite them over the years as you age.

Use a template if you don’t know where to begin. You can find these on the internet. Typically, they’ll guide you through the process by offering questions you can answer. Writing this type of letter is much easier when you have prompts in front of you.[13]
For instance, try the template at

Talk about your regrets. If you’ve never had a chance to talk about them in person, you can say it here. You may regret something you did to the person or not spending enough time with them. Let them know that you’re sorry for your actions, and you wish you could’ve done better.[14]
For instance, you might write, “I regret that I waited so long to apologize to you for my actions. We could have had so many more years together.”

Forgive those who’ve hurt you. Some people will have a hard time forgiving themselves for the things they’ve done to you, and they may feel even more guilty after you’re gone since they can’t rectify the situation. Offering your forgiveness in a letter may help them forgive themselves.[15]
For example, you could say, “I know you feel guilty for the times you couldn’t be there for me. Don’t. You were the best child a person could ask for, and I know you did the best you could to be a part of my life. Please go easy on yourself.”

Express your love and thanks. Above all, this letter is a place to tell your loved ones what they mean to you. Don’t hold back; they deserve to know what they really mean to you. It can help to bring up memories of things you’ve done together or talk about specific things you love about the person.[16]
For example, if you’re writing to your daughter, you might say, “Never underestimate how much I love you. You’re the joy of my life, and I never for a moment regretted having you. You’re such a special person; your heart, your wit, and your smarts will get you so smart. I admire all you’ve accomplished, and I know you will do great things in the future, my baby girl.”

End by saying goodbye. This is a goodbye letter, after all, and saying goodbye will provide a sense of closure for you and the person you’re writing to. If you have spiritual beliefs about death, you can include those here.[17]
For example, you might write, “Even though my body will be gone, my spirit will live on, and I will be with you forever.”

EditWriting a Healing Goodbye Letter for Yourself
Use openings and closings. You may not feel like you need to use these because the letter is just for you, right? However, when you use these conventions of a letter, it makes you think about the other person and the relationship, which is a good way to get started.[18]
You can also write goodbye letters to things like addiction. For instance, you could write a goodbye letter to your cigarette addiction. Just treat the addiction like a person in the letter.

Another option is to write a letter to your future or past self to try to heal some of your hurt and anger.

Air all your grievances and complaints. This letter isn’t meant to be sent, so you can say whatever you want! Discuss what made you mad, what hurt you, what you’re still holding on to, and what you need to let go of.[19]
For instance, if you’re mad that your ex never listened, write that out in your letter!

Write down your feelings. This isn’t just about detailing the things you suffered through the other person. It’s also about getting out the emotions you’re feeling. Try to be honest with yourself and really get down to the nitty-gritty of the emotions you’re still going through from that relationship.[20]
Maybe you feel hurt or betrayed. Maybe you still love the person, but you can’t be with them. Get it all down on paper.

Use the phrase “I forgive you” if you can. When you’re feeling hurt and upset by a relationship, it can be hard to forgive the other person. However, when you haven’t forgiven them, it’s only hurting you, as you’re the one living with the grudge. The first steps to forgiveness lie in laying out your pain and actually writing the words “I forgive you.”[21]
While this won’t magically change the way you feel about the person, it can be a first step to letting go of your hurt and anger. Try to mean the words as you write them.

Destroy the letter or save it for later. It can be cathartic to destroy the letter. You can rip it to shreds or even burn it if you want. However, it’s also fine if you want to hold on to it. When you come across it later, it can serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come.[22]
It’s not a good idea to send it to the person. You can use it as a first draft for another letter, but this letter is really about getting your emotions out.

If you’re planning on sending a letter through the mail, consider writing it by hand. The effect will be more personal.

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