This review discussed various aspects of guidelines for safe manual lifting. Specific topics covered in this report included low back pain, impairment, disability and compensation; causes of low back pain; comparative analysis of risk factors, age, gender, anthropometry, physical fitness and training, lumbar mobility, strength, medical history, years of employment, smoking, psychosocial factors, and structural abnormalities; job risk factors such as heavy physical work, lifting, bending, stretching and reaching, twisting, pushing and pulling, prolonged standing, vibration, and accidents; and preventive approaches such as radiological screening, lifting techniques, preemployment screening, and ergonomic job design. Studies have indicated that low back pain is an extremely significant cause of disability and has a major socioeconomic impact. Many different personal and job factors are associated with the incidence and prevalence of low back complaints. The author concludes that prospective studies are needed so that factors contributing to the development of low back pain can be separated from factors resulting from low back pain.