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27 June 2017

Whether in or around St Neots, or further afield, quite often manual handling tasks are rushed when getting items from A to B – when they should be the top priority. So how many people actually stop to think about if they are lifting correctly and safely?

It helps to have a good idea of the right way to lift and carry manually, as well as the best strategies behind shifting larger household items. It might even end up saving you time!

What do we mean by manual handling?

If you aren’t sure what we mean by manual handling, the semantics are pretty clear – anything which could involve pushing, lifting, pulling, steadying or carrying!

Lifting

Before you lift, consider if there are any aids which can help you – a pair of handling gloves for better grip, or tough shoes which can protect you against drops, for example. Now plan your route. Where do you intend to move your item to, and are there any obstacles which could get in the way? These need to be given careful thought.

Stand with your feet apart, with one leg marginally in front of the other, for stability. Hold your load as tightly as possible, hugging it if possible, and when you start to lift, bend your back hips and knees – this method is better than squatting or fully bending.

Up and away

Once you start to carry and move, keep the item next to your waist as much as you can. The load’s heaviest side should be closest to your body for the sake of stability. Keep your head up and be vigilant of any possible obstructions – avoid looking down or twisting sideways for whatever reason.

Dealing with bulkier items

We’ve all been there. Those items which prove annoyingly difficult to shift to a storage facility. So here is a quick hit list of tips for bulkier household items which can’t be moved by packaging in a box:

– Remember to keep any cables and wires from electrical items secure and not dangling in your way – they are dangerous tripwires!

– Dismantle whenever you can. If bulky items can be taken apart for easier transportation – make sure you do so. This goes for many types of furniture, from desks to computer chairs.

– Bulky at the bottom! Your heavier items should not be placed precariously on top of lighter items. For this reason, when loading into a van or truck, put them in first. When taking out, it is typically sensible to take lighter items you have been packing out first.