PREPARED to Move
Planning on moving soon? Or maybe you’re in the midst of packing? Even though moving is an exciting time, we know moving is stressful! Packing can be a literal pain. But don’t worry, as long as you’re PREPARED, stress less and save your back as well! Here are some pointers to make the move a success.
– Make a Plan – It’s best to have a plan before you tackle such a big job. Scan the room you plan to pack and know which items are going in boxes.
– Clear a Path – Packing can be a messy job, so Review Your Hazards often and have a clear path to walk.
– Evaluate Your Boxes – Before loading a box, make sure it’s in good condition. Any holes? Is it reinforced well with tape at the bottom? We don’t want items falling through!
– Work Within the Green Zone – Place the boxes in an optimal working position. Are the items your packing all on the floor? Kneel beside the box. Can you place the box on a table so you can stand as you load it?
– Align Shoulders, Hips & Toes – As you are grabbing items, keep your shoulders, hips, and toes aligned. Avoid any twisting motion through your torso! Twisting through your torso increases the risk of back injuries and could put you behind your packing schedule.
– Watch the Weight – Don’t make a box too heavy! This will reduce the likelihood of the boxes breaking when you lift them. Plus, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends the weight limit for an individual lift to be 51 lbs. If the box is greater than that, make sure you recruit a friend or use a moving dolly to help you lift.
– Warm Up – Do not lift without getting your body ready for it. Try this warm up.
– Size Up the Product – This will give you a rough idea on how heavy the item is. To do this slightly lift or slide the item to determine the weight and the safest and most efficient way to lift.
– Use Proper Lifting Posture*:
a) Square up to your work.
b) Widen your feet to shoulder width and evenly distribute your weight between feet.
c) Keep your back straight and chest up. Sit back into a squat. Keep your knees in line with your toes. Tighten your core and upon standing back up use your glutes!
– Keep Elbows In & Thumbs Up When Carrying – This will keep the box close to your body and in the Green Zone.
– Don’t Rotate – Keep your shoulders, hips, and toes aligned when lifting and/or moving anything, big or small.
– Rest – After a long day of moving, make sure to Debrief and Recuperate. Stretch out. Re-hydrate. Maybe even get a massage!
*A proper lift involves a hinge through the hip joint and utilization of the large muscles of the legs to execute the lift safely.
Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips from Work Right NW!