Manual handling lesson in moving boxes and belongings
Published on Thursday, 17 January 2013
Most accidents and injuries when moving home are those of manual handling mistakes. The last thing you want or need to happen on moving day is for someone to throw their back out moving heavy boxes and ending up in A&E. Of course there is always a chance something could happen and someone could get hurt, however, you can minimalise the risks of this with some careful planning and fore thought. There are some things that you can do while your packing that will enable you to move the boxes easier on moving day, here are some things to consider when packing: • Buy good quality, heavy duty boxes with handles or carry holes. Having stronger boxes will prevent them from bending and folding under the weight, making them difficult to carry, plastic boxes with carry handles, or cardboard boxes with carry holes cut into the, make lifting and carrying much easier. • Distribute weight over lots of boxes-don’t put all the heavy stuff together in one box as this may become too heavy for one person to lift. • Put all of the heavier stuff at the bottom of the box as this will help you to keep your balance when you are carrying the box as it weight is better distributed. • Use packaging material, newspaper or linen to fill up any free space that there is in the box. This will prevent your belongings from moving about within the box, thus making it unsteady and difficult to carry.Most importantly, you need to remind yourself of everything you have been taught in all those manual handling course’s work makes us do. You need to remember how to best lift a box and the things you should and shouldn’t do. Here is a breakdown for you:• Before jumping into lifting anything, have a think about it first. Are there any lifting aids at your disposal that you could use? Are you physically going to be able to lift the box or is it too heavy? Where are you moving it to? Are there any obstructions in between the pick-up and drop off points? If the lorry is parked far away is there anywhere you can put down the box and rest if you need to? • Avoid wearing tight or fitted clothing which may make moving and lifting more difficult. • When you lift the box keep it close to your body and at waist height. If one side of the box is heavier than the other, put this side against your body to help keep the boxes stability during movement. • Suitable positioning of the body and feet before lifting is essential. Place each of your feet so that you have good balance, this usually means about a shoulder width apart with one foot slightly in front of the other. • It is better to slightly bend the back, knees and hips and use all three than it is to fully bend over completely bending the back or squatting and using solely your hips and knees to lift. • Hug the box as much as possible, rather than gripping the box tightly with your fingers, as this will give you a better hold over the box and more stability. • Try to avoid twisting your back, if you need to turn with a box in your hands wither put the box down or turn using your feet. Twisting and lifting at the same time is how most people damage their backs.• When you are carrying your box try to keep your head up and a good posture to avoid causing any damage to your back.
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