The best way to avoid potential back injury during your house removal is to employ a removal company. A reputable company, like Schofields, will have all the heavy lifting equipment necessary and an experienced crew so that there is no damage to you or your property on moving day.
If you decide to go ahead with a do it yourself removal we advise you to study the guide lines below and visit the government’s Health and Safety Executive website from which this information has been quoted from. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to back injuries. Back care should never be taken lightly at home or at work.
Good handling technique for liftingHere are some practical tips, suitable for use in training people in safe manual handling. In the following section a basic lifting operation is taken as an example.
List of lifting tipsclick plus graphic to read
- Think before lifting/handling. Plan the lift. Can handling aids be used? Where is the load going to be placed? Will help be needed with the load? Remove obstructions such as discarded wrapping materials. For a long lift, consider resting the load midway on a table or bench to change grip.
- Keep the load close to the waist. Keep the load close to the body for as long as possible while lifting. Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the body. If a close approach to the load is not possible, try to slide it towards the body before attempting to lift it.
- Adopt a stable position. The feet should be apart with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance (alongside the load, if it is on the ground). The worker should be prepared to move their feet during the lift to maintain their stability. Avoid tight clothing or unsuitable footwear, which may make this difficult.
- Get a good hold. Where possible the load should be hugged as close as possible to the body. This may be better than gripping it tightly with hands only.
- Start in a good posture. At the start of the lift, slight bending of the back, hips and knees is preferable to fully flexing the back (stooping) or fully flexing the hips and knees (squatting).
Getting to grips with manual handling
List of maneouvering tipsclick plus graphic to read
- Don’t flex the back any further while lifting. This can happen if the legs begin to straighten before starting to raise load.
- Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways, especially while the back is bent. Shoulders should be kept level and facing in the same direction as the hips. Turning by moving the feet is better than twisting and lifting at the same time.
- Keep the head up when handling. Look ahead, not down at the load, once it has been held securely.
- Move smoothly. The load should not be jerked or snatched as this can make it harder to keep control and can increase the risk of injury.
- Don’t lift or handle more than can be easily managed. There is a difference between what people can lift and what they can safely lift. If in doubt, seek advice or get help.
- Put down, then adjust. If precise positioning of the load is necessary, put it down first, then slide it into the desired position.
There is a wealth of free additional information to do with back injury prevention and there is also information on what to do when you have a minor back injury on the government HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd.