Bear the weight vs. Bear the Wait

For most service industry type occupations, there will involve some type of lifting of either product or equipment.  There are a lot of jobs out there that require a person to be able to lift 10 lbs and in some cases, up to 50 lbs or more.  This information will usually be disclosed on the job applications of most businesses.

With lifting objects of any amount of weight comes a risk of injury.  These injuries could occur from improper lifting technique, not lifting with the correct equipment, and not asking or waiting for help among many others.  Often times people tend to go it alone versus waiting for someone or asking someone to help them lift a mid-weight to heavy weighted object.  This can put you in a position to injure yourself due to lifting an object that is to heavy to lift alone safely.

Also using the same motion or the same arm to repeatedly lift an object over and over can lead to injury due to repetitive motion.

Lifting and Carrying heavy items are the leading cause of injury, per OSHA, with overexertion and cumulative trauma (repetitive lifting) being the biggest factors in these injuries.  OSHA describes lifting any object greater than 50 lbs. as “Heavy Lifting.”  Being aware of this information and proper training can help create a safe work environment for all.

Given this information:

When should we bear the weight of the pipe versus bear the wait for others to help?


The chart below shows various pipe weights for varying lengths of pipe for Schedule 40 Steel Pipe.

Nominal Size (in.) Weight (lb./ft.) Weight of 21 ft. Pipe (lb.) Weight of 10.5 ft. Pipe (lb.) Weight of

7 ft. Pipe (lb.)

1.00 1.68 35 18 12
1.25 2.27 48 24 16
1.50 2.72 57 29 19
2.00 3.65 77 38 26
2.50 5.79 122 61 41
3.00 7.58 159 80 53
3.50 9.11 191 96 64
4.00 10.79 227 113 76
5.00 14.62 307 154 102
6.00 18.97 398 199 133
8.00 28.55 600 300 200


A recent review of injury trends showed Strains / Sprains are WSFP’s largest injury with Material Handling being the task most frequently performed at the time of the injury.


There are many other ways to handle material other than manual lifting.

  • Forklift / Pallet Jack
  • Material Hoist / Crane*
  • Pipe Dolly
  • Pipe Rack (on wheels)
  • Material Carts
  • Team Lifting – wait for help


All Western States employees want to complete their tasks in a timely manner.  They work hard and diligently, often independently, attempting to complete a job or task by a certain date.  Our people are what make us Western States Fire Protection.  It’s difficult to stop and ask for help with lifting material, but in order for us to eliminate this mode of injury and the lifting hazard, sometimes we must bear the wait of help and avoid bearing the weight of the pipe.

Visit https://www.wsfp.com/ for more information.