Contractor Safety Share

Sharing safety information

Worker Injured When Lifting a Container

Worker Injured When Lifting a Container


A custodial employee was going to pick up a 2.5 gallon container of cleaner, weighing 31 pounds, and place onto a cart to transfer from one room to another.  The container was located on the bottom of a storage shelf.  As the employee lifted the container to place on the cart, the employee felt a back muscle pull.  The employee was treated for a back strain and was given prescription medication for pain.

Factors to consider at your site and/or project include, but not limited to the following:

  1. Ensure that you know your physical limitations and the approximate weight of materials prior to lifting.
  2. Obtain assistance in lifting objects outside your physical limits or objects over 50 pounds.
  3. Use your leg muscles for lifting and not your back.  Stretching prior to lifting a load is recommended. 
  4. Turn the body as a unit to avoid twisting at the waist. Keep the item close to your body when carrying.
  5. Lift smoothly without jerking.
  6. Make sure the object being lifted is stable to reduce balance shifting while lifting or carrying.
  7. Use handles when available for lifting.
  8. Always try to use mechanical devices, when applicable, to lift and transport heavy objects.
Consider this example as you complete today’s work activities.

Safety Flash Action Items:
  • Date Contractor Safety Flash posted for all employees to review: _______________
  • Safety Talk meeting date: _______________
  • Full employee attendance and participation at safety meeting to review this incident (documentation required).
  • Employees understand urgency in protecting themselves and others.
  • Supervisors and Employees are clear which items shared in this Safety Flash are mandatory.
  • Employees/Supervisors will focus on recommended actions during future work activities of a similar nature.
Contract Firm Management Rep Signature____________________

THINK about the hazards associated with your particular work, and the steps that can be taken to increase safety on your job.


If you have questions about this CONTRACTOR SAFETY FLASH, please contact



(This Safety Flash has been previously issued and is to be used for reference purposes only)

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