According to the Occupational Safety & Health Organization website, safe lifting techniques differ depending on the frequency of lifting a load and the size and shape of that load. However, the OSHA website offers some basic lifting guidelines that apply to most loads.
According to OSHA, workers should maintain a correct, neutral posture while lifting. This requires keeping the head and torso upright and facing forward. The website also includes a detailed diagram that illustrates correct and incorrect lifting postures.
OSHA also recommends keeping the load in the power zone while lifting. The power zone is close to the body, between the middle of the thigh to the middle of the chest. The areas above or below the power zone are considered danger zones, and holding a load in these areas while lifting causes more strain.
OSHA also provides in-depth resources with industry-specific suggestions, including more specific lifting techniques. For example, electrical contractors are recommended to avoid awkward postures, lift loads heavier than 50 pounds or lift too often, and the site offers lifting technique suggestions to avoid these dangerous situations. Some suggestions include staging loads at power-zone heights, avoiding twisting while lifting, using ladders and lifts to reach items staged above the power zone and using mechanical tools, such as pallet jacks and forklifts, to lift heavy items when possible.