Don’t break your back! Lifting, Pushing and Pulling Safely

Whether you’re moving house, or just moving your belongings into self storage, the trickiest part can often be getting everything packed into boxes, ready to go. This will inevitably involve some seriously heavy lifting, which will take its toll on you if not conducted safely.

dont-break-img2“Note images, an 8ft super-fridge and a spiral staircase; no problem…”

There’s some very useful NHS guidance on looking after yourself while lifting, pushing and pulling. If anyone knows how dangerous a poor lift can be, it’s our doctors and nurses.

Our favourite tips for lifting are:

  1. Keep the load close to your waist, to take the strain off your back
  2. Keep your back as rigid as possible, with minimum flex
  3. Bend your knees, rather than your back
  4. Change direction by turning your feet first, not your spine
  5. Keep your eyes ahead, not down. Clearing a path first will make sure this is safe

dont-break-img3Pushing is generally regarded as being safer than pulling, as you’ve got more control. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t carry its own dangers. You’re still susceptible to soft tissue injury if you’re not careful. Whether you’re pushing something on wheels, or just a box towards the front door, we recommend that you:

  1. Position your hands between elbow and hip level
  2. Avoid twisting your body by squaring up to the box
  3. Keep your feet slightly apart to ensure secure footing
  4. Remember that if you’re shoving it with your entire body weight and it’s not moving, you’ll need more man power.

While pushing can be hard on your back, pulling can be even worse. If you really can’t push an object, and pulling is the only option, we recommend advice similar to that for pushing.

  1. Face the object you want to pull straight on. Don’t twist, and avoid the temptation to do so by keeping a free hand (If you have one) on your hip.
  2. Keep your feet slightly apart and bend your knees slightly.
  3. Lean back, with movement at the knees and hips, and keep arms straight.
  4. Take a step back, pulling the item with your body weight as you move.

If this all sounds a bit too much like risky business, and you’re looking for some help with light removals, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire wide, it’s time to call in Dan, Your Man With A Van. With plenty of experience in pushing, pulling and lifting all sorts of weird and wonderful household items, Dan’s got the solution and skills you need to save your back and knees, and keep you away from A&E!

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