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Safe Lifting Training For Your Workforce

Trainer Certifying Employee in Safe Lifting

While lifting seems like a risk-free activity, there are many potential hazards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) more than one million workers experience back injuries each year, with 75% of back injuries occurring while performing lifting tasks. 

A back injury can have a permanent effect on a worker’s life and is one of the most common reasons that people miss work.  Ensuring your employees have received lifting safety training and practice safe lifts makes them less likely to incur such injuries.  

A big benefit of using safe lifting training is that it teaches your employees about the dangers of overexertion while lifting and the importance of always using OSHA proper lifting techniques no matter how heavy the load.  

At National Safety Compliance, we offer several different ways to train your employees on safe lifting techniques, including turn-key online safe lifting and back safety training modules, as well as more traditional employer-led training programs available on DVD, USB, or Digital Access on

Proper Lifting Technique 

  1. Plan ahead  

Before lifting anything, it is important to check your path and surroundings to ensure the work area is flat, dry and free of debris. Decide where you’re going to place the object and how you’ll get there. Then determine the approximate weight of the object and whether or not it’s safe to lift on your own or with a two-man lift limit.  

  1. Stretch  

Warming up before lifting can be the defining factor between an injury and gliding through your workload. It is imperative to stretch your back and legs in order to warm up the muscles, some great stretches for this are lower back rotations and the hamstring stretch. You also need good blood flow in order to perform properly so you should do a few jumping jacks or run in place briefly before beginning.   

  1. Lift  

To lift safely, you should stand as close to the load as possible so you don’t exert more force onto your back by extending the distance. Then bend your knees and keep your upper body upright so your legs do the lifting rather than your back. Look straight ahead and keep your back straight and shoulders back so you have a slight arch in your lower back.  

  1. Carry 

Get a good grip on the load and use your feet to change direction, taking small steps as you go. As you change direction, lead with your hips and keep your shoulders in line with your hip’s movement. Keep the load close to your body with your elbows at your sides.  

  1. Set down 

Lower the load in reverse by lowering your legs and keeping the load close to your body. Keep your head up, stomach muscles tight and the load close to your body. While it may seem like this is the easy part, you can injure yourself just as easily with setting down a load as you can picking it up.  

Dangerous Activities to Avoid When Lifting:  

Trainer Helping Worker Lift Properly
Trainer Advising Employee on Lifting Mistakes
  • Twisting or turning your body while lifting a load  
  • Attempting to carry a load that is too heavy or too large  
  • Lifting an object above shoulder level  
  • Bending forward rather than squatting down to your load 
  • Using a partial grip with only 1-2 fingers  
  • Lifting or working while fatigued  
  • Obstructing your vision while carrying a load 
  • Rushing through the process  
  • Holding your breath 

Can Back Belts Help Prevent Injury?

While back belts have become commonplace for a lot of employees in a workforce that requires a lot of lifting, there is no research that shows that these prevent or decrease back injuries related to lifting.  

Back belts offer a lot of supposed benefits but there is a severe lack of scientific evidence to support these benefits. In most cases, back belts can create more potential dangers by creating a false sense of security and making workers more likely to attempt to lift more weight than they can handle.  

This is why it is so important to still be mindful of safe lifting techniques and practices rather than relying on a back belt to do the job. Regardless of whether you believe back belts are advantageous or not, do not trust them as a substitute, and instead be mindful of proper lifting.  

If you’re putting all your prevention resources into back belts, you are not adequately protecting your workers. Instead, focus your efforts on reducing all risk factors, training your employees on how to lift and respond to reports of discomfort and fatigue as soon as they arise.  

High Frequency and Long Duration Lifting 

Proper Lifting is important for long term employee retention and satisfaction
Implementing Back Safety and Safe Lifting Training Will Improve Employee Retention and Satisfaction.

When lifting and carrying loads for long periods of time it is important to be mindful of what your body is telling you. If you begin to feel fatigued you should set down the load, rest and take a break. It is vital to keep your energy up for picking up and setting down the load following the proper technique.  

If you are required to have your employees lift high frequency and long duration loads it is essential to plan ahead in order to work in frequent breaks, teamwork and rotating tasks.  

If you have any questions about our proper lifting training programs, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us using the chat function on our site, e-mail us at or call us at 877-922-7233. 


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4 Simple Steps to Train Your New and Returning Employees

UPDATE:Our Complete Infectious Disease Control Training Program Is Now Available

As your workforce returns from the coronavirus closures, it’s a good time to be proactive about your training needs for the remainder of 2020. Proper training ensures that your team will be safe and ready to resume working at peak efficiency. If you haven’t already read it, you may also want to read our guide on How to Prepare Your Office to Reopen.

National Safety Compliance has a variety of training resources that can be tailored precisely to your needs: online courses, booklets, posters, signage and much more.

Forklift driver wearing a safety mask to avoid coronavirus infection and transmission
Forklift Driver Wearing PPE

Here are some of the many ways that employee training helps your business succeed:

  • Higher productivity – When employees are well-trained, both the quantity and quality of their work improves.
  • Greater job satisfaction – Employees who receive excellent training have higher morale and greater loyalty to your organization.
  • Less supervision required – Well-trained workers spend far less time asking their supervisors for instruction and clarification.
  • Fewer accidents – Highly trained employees are less likely to experience accidents at work.
  • More opportunities for promotion – Well-trained workers are better candidates for promotion and are less likely to leave.

Here are 4 easy steps for jump-starting your employee training efforts:

#1 – Determine Which Training Method Works Best For Your Budget and Schedule

Woman using for workplace training
Online Training is a Great Way to Train Employees Remotely
  • Online training – This option lets employees learn at their own pace on their own schedule, either at home or on the job site. Explore some of the many online courses we offer on our Online OSHA Training LMS site.
  • Employer-led training using a National Safety Compliance training kit – This option lets you train all your employees for one low price. Each kit includes a video, trainer’s manual, PowerPoint presentation, compliance guide, employee quizzes, printable certificates, wallet cards, and more. These kits are available on DVD, USB, or instantly online via our Digital Access offering. Here is an example of our popular forklift training kit.
  • On-site instructor – This is the most expensive solution, where an instructor conducts training in-person at your facility.

#2 – Identify Your Industry And The Specialized Training Required

Food Service, Like Many Other Industries, Requires Specialized Training

Some training is applicable to all industries, such as proper hand-washing, sexual harassment prevention, safe lifting and back safety, and fire safety.

Here are some popular National Safety Compliance training kits for specific industries:

This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have a question about the training kits most applicable to your industry, please contact us.

#3 – Schedule Your Training Sessions

Online training is easy to schedule because all the work is done by computer. Employees can study either at home or in one of your offices. This is a popular option for employees currently working from home who are preparing to return to the workplace or on-boarding for a new position.

An employee taking an online safety training course
Employee Completing an Online Training Course on

Employer-led training can take place at your convenience. Make sure to practice safe social distancing when conducting on-site training. It’s a good idea to offer separate 1-hour sessions so employees can retain the material better.

#4 – Verify And File Test Completion Certificates

Most federal and state regulatory organizations require you to keep test results on file for each employee.

According to the Association for Talent Development, companies that offer comprehensive training programs enjoy 218% higher income per employee than companies without formal training programs. These companies also have a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training.

As your company gradually resumes normal operations, now is the perfect time to proactively explore training opportunities for both new and returning employees. Call us today at 877-922-7233, send an e-mail to, or use the chat function to learn more about our productivity-boosting training kits and online training courses.