Heavy, too large, awkward to grasp or carry. Stretching up, bending down or twisting to work or lift, increases the risk of injury. That’s when mechanical aids and equipment are needed. Worksafe NZ explains how people get injured when undue physical exertion is expected of them. So how do we avoid these industrial injuries?

When is it too heavy to handle?

It is unhelpful to prescribe specific weight limits (because of the complexity of the way the different risk factors combine), but the risk of harm increases with increasing weight or force. (Worksafe NZ)

Risk factors:

Weight of the item(s) to be moved

It’s generally considered safe for a man to lift or carry 25kg. Woman aren’t expected to lift more than 16kg. However, everyone is built differently, and each worker should know their own limits.


Employee training on lifting techniques should include knowing which lifting and shifting equipment is best for the job on hand. Our range of lifting equipment is available to streamline your processes. Move your palleted goods easily with the Manual Straddle Stacker or the electric pallet truck with 4-way entry.
And talking about pallets…, our Spring loaded pallet lift table, makes loading and unloading pallets a breeze.

The height of the load to be lifted

When a person stands facing a load, the ideal height range for lifting is from knuckle level (arms hanging down) to elbow level. The chart below shows how height affects our lifting capacity.


Lift tables bring the load up or down to the required level. No more bending or stretching – the best lifter for your purpose is waiting for you. We stock scissor lifts with strokes from 600mm to 1800mm.

Platforms come in varying sizes, but our trained salespeople are here to help you choose the right equipment. And where hygiene is key, as in food, pharmaceutical and meat packing industries, we offer a stainless-steel scissor lift table.

Reaching out to lift or move an object

You can see here how distance from the body affects carrying capacity.

Man Man Woman Woman
Load held: Close Arm’s length Close Arm’s length
Elbow height 25kg 15kg 16kg 10kg
Knuckle height 20kg 10kg 13kg 7kg
Shoulder height 20kg 10kg 13kg 7kg
Head height 10kg 5kg 7kg 3kg
Foot level 10kg 5kg 3kg 3kg


Go mobile! Keep the stretches and bends for your workout. Use mobile scissor tables and trolleys to move, raise and lower heavy goods to exactly where you need them.

Repetitive work

Worksafe points out that when the same movement is repeated consistently, workers can suffer joint, muscular and nerve damage:

Some of these conditions are known as repetitive strain injury (RSI), occupational overuse syndrome (OOS), cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) and work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WRMSD).


Manage employee work loads, train workers in correct lifting techniques and, to quote Worksafe one last time, “Provide appropriate mechanical aids and equipment”

Need help choosing your best solution?

Yes! Give us a call.