Lifting heavy items is one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace. In 2001, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more than 36 percent of injuries involving missed workdays were the result of shoulder and back injuries. Overexertion and cumulative trauma were the biggest factors in these injuries. Bending, followed by twisting and turning, were the more commonly cited movements that caused back injuries. Strains and sprains from lifting loads improperly or from carrying loads that are either too large or too heavy are common hazards associated with manually moving materials.

Preventing such injuries is one of the goals behind Global Lifting Awareness Day (GLAD). Organized by the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), a U.K. industry group, the July 9 event is aimed at raising awareness of safe lifting practices and global standards for lifting and lifting equipment.

On the day, suppliers and users of lifting equipment are encouraged to use social media to share their thoughts on lifting practices and equipment “they are GLAD about” using the #GLAD2020 hashtag.

“All too often, our industry is hidden, ignored, or unrecognized by end-users and certainly by some of the supply chains that we serve,” says LEEA CEO Ross Moloney. “Global Lifting Awareness Day is about getting the whole industry and the associated supply chains to recognize the importance of high standards in lifting, the significance of quality, and how to ensure best practices in lifting.”

The LEEA also hopes to use the day to encourage young people to pursue careers with suppliers of lifting equipment. To that end, it has produced a pair of videos that drive home the vital role that lifting equipment plays in various supply chains. These videos are free to use and can be downloaded here: