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Is that too heavy to lift? This might help. Some of the tasks performed at work, such as lifting, reaching and repetitive movements, can strain our bodies. In some situations, these ordinary tasks can result in injuries. Using the following lift calculator can help you assess the risk associated with a particular lifting task. Remember, there is no such thing as completely ‘safe’ manual handling. However, by establishing some simple guidelines you can greatly reduce the risk of injury in your workplace.

Click here for the full lifting calculator instruction sheet.

Lifting Calculator Table

Enter weight of object to be lifted:
Enter the rate of repetition:  Once Every    
Vertical distance of the Lift: Select the closest distance to the range the job requires.
Lift Zone
Indicate where the hands are when the lift is most awkward on the diagram.
Entered value in pounds: Percentage of men who can safely perform this task: Percentage of women who can safely perform this task:
() ( %) ( %)

This is the estimated percent of the population who would find the work demands for this task acceptable. (The greater the percent the lower the risk.)

≥ 75% is a good benchmark to reduce risk. For a mixed workforce, use the women’s result as a guideline. Please keep in mind there is no right answer or wrong solution. A good result is one that offers the most practical, cost effectiveand highest degree of control possible.

The chart below illustrates how weight affects this particular task.

  Percentage breakdown for different weights.
  90%   75%   50%   25%   10%
Men   10   10   10   10   10
Women   10   10   10   10   10

Design Goal: The resulting weight listed below is the optimum weight for 75% of the workforce to perform this task with the parameters entered above.

Weight in pounds 75% of the workforce
can safely lift for this lifting task:

The information contained on this web page (illustrations, instructions and principles) is based on published research.* And, to the best of our knowledge, is current. Use this tool as only a part of your comprehensive ergonomic evaluation. No attempt has been made to interpret any referenced codes, standards or regulations. Please refer to the appropriate code, standard or regulation-making authority for interpretation or clarification.

*Snook, S. H. and Ciriello, V. M., "The design of manual handling tasks: revised tables of maximum acceptable weights and forces," Ergonomics, 1991 Sept. 34(9).
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