6 Lumber Handling Safety Tips You Don’t Want to Ignore

October 25, 2017

Lumber yards are massive places that many find fun to explore in order to find the wood they need.  Whether you consider the lumber yard to be a fun place or not, it is an essential place to visit when working on projects.

 

It is also essential to keep safety in mind.  Here are the top 6 safe handling steps you need to know in order to stay safe at the lumber yard.

1. Use Personal Protective Equipment

When handling large materials at the lumber yard, it is essential that you wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).  Personal protective equipment for safe handling of lumber includes work gloves and a hard hat.  The work gloves are used to prevent splinters, cuts, scrapes and other injuries to your hands.  The hard hat is to protect your head from large pieces of lumber that might become unstable and hit you. You don’t want your trip to the lumber yard to include such an injury.

2. Inspect Before Lifting

Inspecting a board before you lift it can help save you from injury.  Used boards at the lumber yard might have nails or other objects imbedded in them, which could quickly injure you.  Fresh boards can also have nails, splinters or broken pieces.

Along with inspecting the board, you also want to inspect the area around you.  It is important that your lift area be clear of debris and clutter so that you don’t trip while carrying a heavy board.  If there is debris nearby in the lumber yard, clear it before you start lifting the board.

3. Lift with Your Legs, Not Your Back

In the lumber yard, lifting heavy loads improperly can easily injure your back.  When lifting heavy lumber, or any lumber for that matter, it is important to lift with your legs and not your back.  To do this, remember to squat down and keep your back straight.

4. Know the Safe Load

No matter how much you lift or bench at the gym, there is a safe weight when carrying lumber at the lumber yard.  No one person should carry more than 50 pounds at a time.  That means that if a board weighs 80 pounds, you should ask for someone’s help before lifting it.

5. Watch the Pinch Zone

The pinch zone is any part of the lumber that is being pressed against another object.  You should ensure that all parts of your body are out of the pinch zone before setting down lumber.  Heavy pieces of lumber can injure you if they are set down too hard.

6.    Use Equipment Properly

Are you using equipment to lift the lumber?  Before you use any heavy equipment, you should get briefed on proper use of the equipment so that you know how to use it.  You could be putting yourself, the lumber, or someone else at risk by improperly operating equipment in the lumber yard.

Safe handling for lumber may sound like an unnecessary step, but it is designed to keep you and others safe.  Remember, working alone in a lumber yard can significantly increase the safety hazards, so take another person with you whenever possible.  Be safe out there!