Construction is one of the most hazardous industries involving high manual labour where health and safety risks are plentiful. This study focuses on evaluating the factors affecting the material lifting capacity of Indian male construction workers. A statistical experiment was conducted on selected male construction workers, and ANOVA technique was used to analyse the influence of parameters (like age, body mass index (BMI), material lifting height and lifting frequency) on maximum allowable weight limit (MAWL). From the analysis, maximum allowable weight limit (MAWL) and minimum lifting weight were determined for every worker based on his age and BMI corresponding to three different lift frequencies and lifting heights. The results indicate that for all BMI categories, the MAWL increases with the increase in the age of workers to a certain extent, but it decreases as the age increases. Using the maximum and minimum lifting weight values obtained, it will be easy to assign manual lifting tasks for workers without compromising their health at the same time ensuring optimum utilization of their efficiency. © 2021, The Institution of Engineers (India).