Have you ever paused to consider the physical risks involved in moving, particularly if you decide to do it yourself? Here at A Man with a Van London, we have seen lots go wrong. This guide suggests ways in which you can protect yourself from physical injury on moving day.
Back injuries on moving day
One of the most common ways in which you may injure yourself on moving day, is by lifting items that are too heavy for you. Injuries to your back can be life-changing, so never underestimate the danger that poor lifting technique poses. Once you have torn discs in your back, they may never repair.
Back injuries when lifting usually occur when a load is heavy, and when this weight is added to by being held wrongly. If you try to lift a weight when it is at arms length, it is much harder that when you hold it close to you. The same principle holds when lifting heavy boxes or furniture. Whatever item you are lifting try to keep it as close to your body as possible as you lift. Never bend over to lift. Instead, bend your legs and squat down low when first lifting the item off the floor. Try to get as far ‘under’ the item as possible. Do not worry yourself about how you appear – you need to protect your back. The other thing to watch out for is twisting your back when carrying a load. This can happen easily, as you remove boxes from the boot of a car, for example. Twisting when lifting is perhaps the most common way that back injuries occur, so be very body aware when moving boxes around.
Careful Does It
Check your route in and out of the house for loose paving, slippery surfaces or other hazards. Overhanging branches can be a nuisance, so quickly cut them back. Make sure you are wearing practical clothing for heavy work – no heels or floaty clothing. You need to be firmly planted on the ground when moving furniture. You should rent proper moving equipment if you have none of your own. A good sturdy trolley makes moving heavy items such as fridges, washing machines and cookers so much safer and easier. Make sure you strap heavy items on to a trolley firmly, however. Do not skip this step, because the weight of the items on trolleys can easily tip them over if you slip, or lose concentration.
Children and Pets
It is common sense to make sure that children and pets are kept well away from moving day activities. It is best to leave toddlers with friends or family, and pets too, if possible. Children underfoot make removal men feel nervous, and impede progress. Doubtless it is a wildly exciting event for them, so let them watch from an upstairs window, but not try and ‘help’. This is where an iPad or toys plus a few snacks can save the day, so make sure you pack child-distracting items for when you arrive.
Better Safe Than Sorry
The best way to protect yourself from injury when moving is simply to leave it to trained professionals. It’s worth every penny, and you can save your energy for unpacking.