Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade(your Safety guide) bringing you another interesting health and safety topic.

Today, we will be looking at how you can safely lift and carry a load or a heavy object.                       In Health and Safety, this is referred to as a ‘manual handling operation’.                                             One way or the other , be it at home or in the workplace, we all have engaged in lifting and carrying a load. Most times this can be done wrongly. It is always advisable to put on personal protective equipment ( i.e hand gloves and protective shoes) when you want to carry a load. The steps to be taken are explained below:

  1. Size up the load: This is assessing the load to determine whether you can carry it comfortably. Just tip it on its side, if you discover that you cannot carry it alone, you should call on someone to help you.
  2. Check for sharp edges, splinters, nails and rough edges after sizing the load.
  3. Safe Lifting: Ensure that you maintain a firm footing on the ground. Keep your back straight also while about to lift the load, do not bend.  Maintain a good grip on the object and then pull the load close to you. Pull your stomach in firmly and then lift with your legs and not your back. As long as you lift with your legs , some certain amount of the weight of the load is impacted on your legs, but if you had bent down and not have fully gone down with your legs close to the ground, you would be inadvertently lifting the load with your back. Thus a certain amount of the weight of the load will be impacted on your back.This is what usually results in low back pain Whenever you need to turn, make sure you do not twist your back but rather move your feet so as to prevent back twisting.
  4. Ask for help: In a situation where you have a heavy load that one person alone cannot carry, ask for help, work as a team in lifting the load, carrying it, walking  and lowering it on the ground. Ensure that one person amongst you supervise or co-ordinate the entire process and direct the lifting of the load. It is also advisable to employ the use of a mechanical device for heavy loads. Examples of mechanical devices that can aid lifting of heavy loads are trolleys, hoists, conveyors, forklift trucks and push carts etc.
  5. For lone carriage of load: Get as close to the load as you can and slide the load toward you.

Ensure that you never use your back to carry the load, just use your arms and legs. Us e your thigh and leg muscles all through the process and not your back. One thing that can help you in keeping your back straight is by bending your knees and also your hips. Keep the load at a reasonable height in order to be able to see where you are going. Pivot with your feet, and do not ever twist your back when carrying the load.

6.   Lowering the load: This involves a reverse of the process of lifting the load. You ought to lower the material slowly and smoothly.  For instance  , if you are to lower or slowly drop the load on a deep shelf, put the load on the edge of the shelf and the push the load into place. Ensure you push rather than pull the load. It has been confirmed through research that people usually exert higher push forces than pull forces.  This is all we are going to discuss for now. Till I come your way again , this is Goke Akingbade(your Safety guide) signing off.



Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety guide). Today we will be discussing about exits and exit routes. In workplace safety, an exit is the portion of the exit route that generally is separated from other areas to provide a protected way of travel out of the workplace.                                         Our area of focus will be on what is called in health and safety an emergency exit.                               An emergency exit in a structure is a special exit for emergencies such as a fire.

Every workplace must have sufficient exit routes and exits to use in an emergency.                               Exit routes are continuous and unobstructed paths of exit from any point within a workplace to a safe area. Exit routes consist of three parts, which are:                                                                           (1) Access to the exit.                                                                                                                                   (2) The exit.                                                                                                                                                   (3) Way from the exit to the outside                                                                                                         Exit routes include all vertical and horizontal areas:                                                                                 (a)Stairs                                                                                                                                                       (b) Ramps                                                                                                                                                     (c) Aisles                                                                                                                                                EXIT ROUTE AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS.                                                                                               In determining the number of exit routes required, we need to consider three criteria, which are:      (1) The size of the building.                                                                                                                          (2) The building occupancy.                                                                                                                        (3) The arrangement of the workplace.                                                                                                      There must be atleast two available exit routes that must be remote from each other. Other means of escape should be available if there is only one exit route.                                                                   (a) Fire escapes                                                                                                                                           (b) Accessible windows                                                                                                                              FIRE RESISTANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR EXITS.                                                                                     There must be a separation between the exit and the rest of the workplace. Exits must protected by a self-closing fire exit door. The fire door must never be blocked.                                                         It is also very important that the exit routes be kept safe. The purpose of an exit route is to reach an exit. Exit routes cannot lead workers toward a dead end, or through a room that can be locked. They must be free of highly flammable furnishings. A safety sign must be fixed on the upper part of the door along the exit route to indicate the direction of travel to the nearest exit.                                                                                                                                                                                                    REQUIREMENTS TO ENSURE THAT EXITS ARE SAFE.                                                                            Exits must lead directly outside or to an open space with access to the outside.                                  The area beyond the exit has to have enough room for the people most likely to use the exit.            Exit doors must be easy to open without keys.  Exit doors cannot have any alarm device that would restrict emergency use of the exit should the device fail.                                                                         Doors must swing out from the room into the exit route if a room:                                                         may be occupied by more than 50 people; or                                                                                         contains highly flammable or explosive materials.                                                                                   We will stop here for today. Till I come your way again, please stay safe.

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