Backs and Lifting Checklist
(Taken from the "Tailgate Meetings that Work : A Guide to Effective Construction Safety Training" series)  PDF Version

Versión en español

Robin Baker, Robert Downey, Mary Ruth Gross, Charles Reiter
Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) School of Public Health,
University of California, Berkeley Ca.

These tailgate/toolbox talks were developed for use under California OSHA regulations. The complete set is available from the Labor Occupational Health Program at UC Berkeley. For ordering information, visit the website ( The American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has adapted these talks to apply to federal OSHA regulations. To contact ACGIH, visit its web site (

Date Prepared:_________________________ By:________________________
Project Name/No.______________________ Location:___________________

  • Check the box if the statement is true
  • Fill in the blanks where thePencil Icon appears
  • Citations in brackets are from Title 8 of the California Administrative Code.



  • The company has a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) that meets all Cal/OSHA requirements. It includes identification of back hazards on the site, regular inspections, accident investigation, and correction of hazardous conditions.
  • Materials which may present lifting hazards on the job have been identified:

    • Heavy objects (over 20 lbs. if they will be lifted repeatedly; over 50 lbs. at one time). (List below.)

    • Bulky or awkward objects. (List below.)

    • Loads whose weight may suddenly shift. (List below.)

    • Objects which must be lifted from above shoulder level. (List below.)

    • Objects which must be lifted from the floor. (Lift below.)

    • Objects which cannot be held close to the body. (List below.)

    Pencil Icon

    List identified lifting hazards:





  • Tasks which require repeated twisting or bending have been identified. (List below.)
Pencil Icon

List identified lifting, twisting, or bending hazards:

Back Hazards





  • Back injuries and all accidents involving lifting are investigated, and hazards are corrected.


  • When possible, jobs are designed to minimize manual material handling.
  • When possible, mechanical lifting devices (forklifts, hoists, cranes, and block and tackle) are used.
  • Manual lifting and carrying devices (dollies, hand trucks, pry bars, and hooks) are available and in good condition.
  • Where possible, materials and equipment are used that are easy to lift and carry (for example, bricks with handholds or fiberglass ladders).
  • Where possible, materials and equipment are used that are easy to lift and carry (for example, bricks with handholds or fiberglass ladders).
  • Where possible, materials are ordered in small, light quantities (for example, 3-foot drywall or small packages of cement).
  • Lifting tasks are divided among workers to reduce repetitive lifting.
  • Heavy materials which must be lifted manually are stored off the ground, no lower than knee height. (This limits the height of the lifting required, and reduces pressure on the spine.)
  • Heavy materials are stored where there is enough space to lift them safely, without reaching or twisting.


  • Workers have been trained about all identified lifting hazards on the job, and methods to avoid injury.
  • Workers have been trained in safe lifting techniques, including team lifting and carrying.


  • Materials are delivered as close as possible to where they will be used.
  • Loads are split up to reduce weight.
  • Walkways are kept clear to allow use of material handling devices like carts and dollies.
  • Mechanical devices or team lifting techniques are used for heavy loads whenever possible.
  • Before lifting and carrying heavy objects, workers plan the task, including resting points if necessary.
  • Workers use the correct grip, test the load before lifting, and lift and hold the load close to the body.
  • Loads are lifted and lowered gradually.
  • Mechanical devices or team lifting techniques are used for heavy loads whenever possible.
  • Lifting belts are provided only if recommended by a qualified physician and if workers have been trained in their proper use.
  • Workers are encouraged to “warm up” at the start of each shift, and to take regular stretch breaks.


  • If there has been more than one ergonomic injury within a year to workers doing the same task, the company has set up a program to identify and correct these hazards and provide relevant training. [5110]

Tailgate Meetings That Work : Collection

Published in June, 1994 by: Labor Occupational Health Program, School of Public Health, 2515 Channing Way, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. Phone: (510) 642-5507.

Permission is granted to duplicate these materials for non-profit educational purposes, provided that copies are not offered for sale.

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