Safety is of the essence in any workplace. Besides ensuring your workers don’t get injured, you also want to eliminate the expenses and legal actions that might arise from a workplace injury. Different workplaces have different risks regarding safety. In chemical manufacturing industries, corrosion is a risk; in a warehouse, load-related accidents are a risk; the list is endless.

One of the aspects of workplace safety needing sensitization is lifting. You’re likely to encounter lifting in warehouses, shipping bays, and construction sites. Here, you’ll see goods in the air being off-loaded or loaded for transit or storage. In such circumstances, how do you ensure safety? This article discusses ways overhead lifting safety tips to prevent workplace injury.

1. Use The Right Lifting Equipment

There are various types of lifting equipment that differ in functionality, among other aspects. Some can manage to lift heavy tools while others can only handle light goods. How do you ensure you use the right tool for the job?

Start by weighing your load before putting it onto any equipment and knowing the loading capacity of your tool. Ensure the tool’s capacity exceeds your load’s weight by some margin. By doing this, in no case shall your electric chain snap into two when your tool is midway in the air. Anyone within proximity is likely to get injured, which isn’t desirable. Find more tips here on choosing the right equipment for your job.

4 overhead lifting safety tips for preventing workplace injury

2. Maintain Lifting Equipment

You’ll use lifting equipment to get the work done during overhead lifting, so these tools need to be in good condition to meet your lifting needs. One sure way of ensuring they’re in good condition is by maintaining them appropriately. Most equipment come with manuals during purchase.

A manual contains a lot of information regarding the functioning of the tool. They’ll also contain information regarding the maintenance needs. Familiarize yourself with this and perform regular check-ups. Replace the parts that need replacing after a given period, whether they’re in good condition or not. Lubricate the moving parts to allow easy lifting of goods from one point to another.

Besides performing regular maintenance, inspect the equipment before lifting any load. See to it that the nuts and bolts are well-secured. It’d also help operate the tool once or twice before loading your goods to ensure it’s functioning efficiently.

Maintaining your lifting equipment reduces situations where the tool malfunctions during transit.

3. Use A Qualified Operator

Most lifting tools require skills to operate, which differ from one equipment to another. Therefore, refrain from allowing just any worker to operate your tools. Most states have institutions that train in operating heavy machinery, including lifting equipment. Ensure that the operator you employ has undergone the necessary training to handle your equipment.

As the employer, continuously train them on tools and safety. Should you acquire a new tool, train them in utilizing. There’s no need to hire an operator for each tool you have. It’d also help test their skills regularly to ensure they don’t get complacent. Complacency is one of the causes of accidents in the workplace.

4. Prepare For The Unexpected

When carrying out any activity, it’s always advisable to prepare for the occurrence of any uncertainties. You might have maintained your lifting equipment, inspected it before use, and hired an experienced operator. But there’s a 1% chance of things going wrong, and it’s best to prepare for it. How do you do this?

Start by investing in personal protective equipment (PPE). To cater to overhead accidents, ensure that every person in your workplace has a helmet and puts it on when visiting the warehouse or anywhere lifting equipment is utilized. The helmet should be of high quality such that it doesn’t break on impact.

The next thing is to clear the area around the lifting zone. The area should be free of boxes, other equipment, mobile office, etc. Suppose you’re using a tower crane. It has an arm that extends over a given circumference. Clear the area within this circumference, extending a few inches to cater to the bouncing effect of when a load lands on the ground at high speed.

It’d also help train all your workers, besides the operator, on the safety measures they should adopt. Inform them why caution is necessary around lifting equipment. Train them on how to handle themselves during emergencies, for example, when a heavy load falls mid-air. They should steer away from the incidence area and not go nearby to see what has happened.

A load might have fallen, but what if the equipment disassembles after that? The parts will fall on those trying to see what has happened, leading to injuries and, in extreme cases, casualties.


The discussion above sheds light on the safety precautions you can adopt in your workplace to prevent overhead injuries during lifting. By adhering to this guide, you’re highly likely to reduce and eliminate overhead workplace injuries due to lifting. Therefore, consider implementing the tips in your workplace.

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Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.