A Manual Handling Lesson for Your House Clearance
Posted on 16 September 2016
There’s no getting away from it, if you are having a house clearance and you are doing some or all of the work yourself then you will be lifting heavy boxes, pieces of furniture and things like books and heavy mirrors. If you are going to be doing this then it is essential that you know how to properly lift and carry heavy things.
It’s just lifting boxes why is it so important?
If you lift or carry something in the incorrect way, you could cause real harm to yourself, a high number of back problems have been caused initially by ignoring the manual handling rules, and these are back problems that often become persistent and reoccur later in life. Furthermore, if you damage your back on the first day of the house clearance, how are you going to complete the rest, you will need to take time away from the house clearance in order to get better.
So what things should I be thinking about?
• What you are wearing: when you are lifting, carrying and moving things you should make sure that you’re wearing loose fitted clothing that you can move freely in, nothing too restrictive or tight, and shoes that protect your feet if something were to get dropped on them.
• Take a look at the box before you lift it, check how heavy it is and whether you will need help to carry it. Think about where you are moving the box too and whether there is likely to be anything in your way that you will need to manoeuvre around, can you carry the box the distance to where it needs to be put or will you need to put the box down for a moment and have a little break and is there anywhere you can set the box down?
• When you are loading things onto and from a van try to park the back of the van as close to the entrance of your home as is possible to reduce the amount of time you will be carrying the box.
• While you are carrying boxes or your belongings, try to keep it as close to your body as you can to give it support and prevent it from becoming unstable and possibly falling out of your grip. Resting the weight of the item against you will make it feel a little lighter and help you to carry it a bit easier.
• Never show off and try to lift something that you know is too heavy for you to be lifting by yourself.
• Make sure you use the correct foot and body placement, this being feet that are a shoulder width apart and with one foot slightly in front of the other, this will offer you the most balance.
• When you lift something heavy use your back, knees and hips and bend slightly, but not too much. Don’t make your back do all of the work as you are more likely to damage it, equally avoid squatting and putting all of the weight directly onto your knees and hips.
• When you lift and while you are carrying something heavy, avoid twisting your back, if you need to move your body round put down whatever it is you are carrying and then re-position yourself.
• Try to maintain a good posture while you are moving anything that is heavy, keep your head held high and your back as straight as possible.