Max lifting capacity for an average human adult

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Summary:

Hi All, I want to know whats the weight an average adult man can lift with his 2 hands. Not talking about dumbells or weight training but structural point of view like sheet metal or column. I have to calculate or make parts so 2 people can lift and assemble.

Main Question or Discussion Point

I have situation where i have drawn a concept with 1 sheet covering width of box for model. But now i need to draw up the manufacturing drawings and it needs to lifted and assembled by 2 people. So i need to know if person weighs 70 kg how much weight they can lift without using mechanical aid? Max capacity of average human adult.
 

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  • #2
berkeman
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I would start with the US OSHA standards for safe lifting. If you exceed those standards, that puts you at risk for liability issues. :smile:
 
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Yashi234 said:
Summary:: Hi All, I want to know whats the weight an average adult man can lift with his 2 hands. Not talking about dumbells or weight training but structural point of view like sheet metal or column. I have to calculate or make parts so 2 people can lift and assemble.
I have situation where i have drawn a concept with 1 sheet covering width of box for model. But now i need to draw up the manufacturing drawings and it needs to lifted and assembled by 2 people. So i need to know if person weighs 70 kg how much weight they can lift without using mechanical aid? Max capacity of average human adult.
In general how much weight a fit person can handle is somewhere around his own weight.

To complement what @berkeman said, here is an OSHA reference regarding materials handling:

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha2236.pdf

and here are some references and a very short video regarding handling of sheet metal:

https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/2019-03/sheetmetal.pdf

https://monroeengineering.com/blog/safety-tips-to-follow-when-handling-sheet-metal/#:~:text=ALWAYS wear heavy-duty gloves,even if you wore gloves).

Sheet metal requires special handling, in part because, unlike a dumbbell or other dull weight, it can cut a person if it is mishandled.

The guys in the video are wearing cut-resistant gloves:

 
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  • #4
Tom.G
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This from:
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/electricalcontractors/supplemental/solutions/tasks_back.html


[*]Do not manually lift heavy loads. For most people, loads heavier than 50 pounds should be considered heavy. Situations that involve awkward postures such as bending, reaching, or twisting or repetitive lifting will greatly reduce this weight.

That 50 pounds converts to 22.7kg.

(above OSHA link found with:
https://www.google.com/search?&q=lifting+site:osha.gov)

My back is still in poor condition from lifting about 35 pounds (16kg) while reaching and twisting. At the time I was in early 30's and in good condition from hiking and motorcycle riding.

Cheers,
Tom
 
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  • #5
symbolipoint
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The topic post #1 not well specified. The referring to OSHA was good advice. ANYTHING over 10 pounds can be heavy or too heavy if mishandled regardless of the averageness of the person.
 
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  • #6
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Hi All,

Thank you very much for advice. Only reason i wanted to find this was to decide how many sections i should make of sheet if there are no mech aids and only human has to lift them. I did concept design to show sheet metal of 3m x 2m but now have to draw production drawing from lifting and assembling point of view. So 22.7 kg is avg lifting capacity.

Regards,
Yashi
 
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  • #7
Tom.G
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So 22.7 kg is avg lifting capacity.
If you think that is average lifting capacity going up a ladder, I recommend you try it. (you may want a medical crew on standby)
 
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If you think that is average lifting capacity going up a ladder, I recommend you try it. (you may want a medical crew on standby)
Hi Tom,

Not climbing up the ladder just on levelled ground...this is different to other thread.

Regards,
Yashi
 
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  • #9
enigma
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In every company I have worked, the limit is 40 lbs for 1 man, 70 lbs for 2, and 100 lbs for 3. Over 100 lbs needs a crane lift.
 
  • #10
gleem
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The Sante FE animal technology program in Gainesville FL requires students to be able to lift a 50 lb bag of animal feed to their shoulder and carry it 50 Ft. They have a demo for students here.

 
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  • #11
symbolipoint
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In every company I have worked, the limit is 40 lbs for 1 man, 70 lbs for 2, and 100 lbs for 3. Over 100 lbs needs a crane lift.
Some labor and clerk job lift-requirements are, be able to lift 70 pounds.
 
  • #12
tech99
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Some labor and clerk job lift-requirements are, be able to lift 70 pounds.
Do we have different limits for women?
 
  • #13
gleem
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Not for the Sante Fe college animal technology program. I am doubtful that it would be different for any other job or program.

Edit: However, I do not know to what extent the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) might be applied to a person who because of small stature cannot reasonably lift a certain amount which is a small part of the job since the ADA requires a reasonable accommodation for a disability.
 
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  • #14
Astronuc
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I have situation where i have drawn a concept with 1 sheet covering width of box for model. But now i need to draw up the manufacturing drawings and it needs to lifted and assembled by 2 people. So i need to know if person weighs 70 kg how much weight they can lift without using mechanical aid? Max capacity of average human adult.
As others have indicated there are legal (labor rules/laws) that limit what one is allowed to lift, which from my experience to 50 lbs (22.7 kg). More than that would require another person or some mechanical aid. I once got into trouble when I lifted a small barrel of lubricating oil (120 lbs (54 kg)) rather than rolling the barrel. I was working at an oil refinery.

One would not want to base a rule on the maximum capacity of the average person. The lifting capacity of an individual will depend on how well one's body (bones, muscles and joints) is conditioned (through weight training). The vertebrae, and particularly, the intervertebral discs (or intervertebral fibrocartilage) are the most vulnerable to over-stress situations.

I began weight training when I was in 8th grade. At the time I was about 160-165 lbs (72.6 - 75 kg). When I started weight training I easily lifting 100 lbs (45.4 kg), or about 63% of my weight. After a summer of training, I was able to lift my body weight. In 10th and 11th grade, I worked at a gardening center where I had to lift and 50 lb and 70 lb bags of soil and fertilizer, and 100 - 120 lb bags of sand or gravel. I got to the point where I could lift two 70 lb bags of fertilizer, raise them over my head and toss them about 1 above me, and I was able to carry one bag of sand or gravel in each hand. Later in college, I continued weight training and did iron work for several summers. I was then able to curl my body weight (`180 lbs), military press 130-150% of my body weight, and bench press 200% of my body weight. I could easily carry a 200 lb beam on my shoulder. When it can to lift corrugated sheet metal, it was more difficult because of the large size and distribution of mass (dumbbells and barbells are much easier than sheet metal). I could manage a couple of sheets myself on level ground, but we always used locking C-clamps (vise grips) or standard vice grips, or drill a hole in the sheet and use a hook and cable to life sheet metal for installation on a wall. For the roof, we'd lay out the sheets from one end to the other, and two folks would carry a sheet.
 
  • #15
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I was privileged to get a job in a wholesale food warehouse at age 16, when I had a teenager's bulletproof body. It was a superb learning experience, because I promised myself that I would never ever get another job working with my muscles.

They would get in a boxcar full of potatoes every one to two weeks. The potatoes were normally in 100 lb bag, with 480 bags per boxcar. It was my job to stack the bags on skids. By end of the summer, I could grab a corner of a bag with one hand, lift it, flip with my hip, roll it off my shoulder, and place it on top of the pile. But only for the first 100 bags or so. By the end of the load, I was rolling the bags up the side of the pile. They occasionally got a load of potatoes in 50 lbs bags. Those were worse because those boxcars held 960 bags. One such boxcar was a morning's work.

There may have been laws regulating allowable work for teenagers. That employer just ignored them, just as they ignored other laws. OSHA came in a couple years later, and shut them down the next day. They never reopened.

I weighed 120 lbs at the beginning of the summer, and 130 lbs at the end. My mother thought she knew how much a teenage boy could eat. She learned.
 
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  • #16
symbolipoint
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Some labor and clerk job lift-requirements are, be able to lift 70 pounds.
Do we have different limits for women?
No. That was the required lifting ability of any candidate for those jobs. Different specifications according to gender were not used.
 
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  • #17
berkeman
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The potatoes were normally in 100 lb bag
Pfft. We love carrying people as long as they are conscious and can balance themselves. If they are unconscious and we need to try to maintain their airway, it takes at least two of us to carry a skinny little 95 pound person 20 meters in a rescue. Please don't ask me how I know this... :wink:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireman's_carry

1595983475596.png
 
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  • #18
Tom.G
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Do we have different limits for women?
Not formally. Age, Sex, Race, Disability are ostensibly 'irrelevent' here in the US.

But... if you are a seventy year old female in a wheelchair don't waste your time applying as a boxing trainer at the local Gym. :rolleyes:

Cheers,
Tom
 
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  • #19
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Not formally. Age, Sex, Race, Disability are ostensibly 'irrelevent' here in the US.

But... if you are a seventy year old female in a wheelchair don't waste your time applying as a boxing trainer at the local Gym. :rolleyes:

Cheers,
Tom
As your boxing trainer example suggests, sometimes it depends on the job:


POWER Test Chart for Men
TestAge 20 - 29Age 30 - 39Age 40 - 49Age 50 - 59
Sit and Reach (Inches)16.015.013.812.8
1-Minute Sit-Up37342823
Max Bench Press (Percent)0.98%0.87%0.79%0.70%
1.5 Mile Run (Minutes/Seconds)13:4614:3115:2416:21
POWER Test Chart for Women
TestAge 20 - 29Age 30 - 39Age 40 - 49Age 50 - 59
Sit and Reach (Inches)18.817.816.816.3
1-Minute Sit-Up31241913
Max Bench Press (Percent)0.58%0.52%0.49%0.43%
1.5 Mile Run16:2116:5217.5318:44
NOTE: ALL OF THE ABOVE TESTS MUST BE PASSED TO ATTEND THE POLICE ACADEMY. THIS IS STATE LAW AND CAN NOT BE WAIVED.
 
  • #20
symbolipoint
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sysprog in post #19,
The "boxing" job and "police academy" requirements make me think of a famous quote:
Go to 2:25 on the time line in this video ----
 
  • #21
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Here's 322x 75 lb bales.. Last year they weighed 95 lbs and that was a sumbitch to do.. got smart, made the bales lighter and charged the same

4 fit people loaded this in under an hour


1596416318979.png
 
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2 people per bale?
 
  • #23
jbriggs444
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2 people per bale?
In my experience, you'd get funny looks if you suggested that two guys cooperate to lift a single bale. You grab the thing with left hand on the two twine strands to lift and steady it and the right hand to toss it to the top of the pile where it needs to go.

It has been a lot of years since I tossed bales around.
 
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  • #24
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you'd be far more likely to throw our back out with a second person working the same bale if you aren't coordinated right!
 
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  • #25
berkeman
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4 fit people loaded this in under an hour
What happened to the tree behind the trailer? Is somebody in the processing of cutting it down?

1596468516814.png
 
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