How to lift heavy objects correctly without harming yourself
At some point in our lives, we will find ourselves in a situation where we need to lift and move heavy boxes or objects. It can seem like a simple task at first, but more often than not we can end up causing ourselves some serious harm and even long-term damage if not done correctly.
If you work in an environment where lifting heavy objects is part of your daily job, you will have gone through the basic training on how to lift heavy objects correctly. Companies do not invest the time and resources in such a simple training task for no reason. When it comes to your health and in particular your spine and body, you can’t be too careful. There are countless incidents where people have caused themselves permanent damage and even disability from lifting heavy items incorrectly.
As one of London’s most popular removal companies, we know only too well how important it is that people lift heavy goods and possessions correctly. Below we will show you how to lift heavy items correctly, and few things you should check and consider before you attempt to lift anything.
The correct way to lift heavy items by yourself guide
Examine what you’re lifting – No matter how small the item or box is, always check thoroughly before you attempt to lift it. Check to see if the weight is a weight that you physically manage to lift. If it’s too heavy then do not attempt to lift it at all. A good way to check if it’s too heavy is by kneeling down (resting on your knees) in front of the item and try and slide it left to right, forward and backwards. You’ll know by sliding the object how heavy it actually is. If you can’t push or slide the item very easily then it would indicate the item is heavy. You should never attempt to lift any item if it’s too heavy, simply ask for help or wait until someone can give you a hand.
Check your route – How far do you need to carry the item? Will you need to lift it up or down any stairs? Trying to carry a very heavy item whilst negotiating stairs can become a much more difficult and dangerous task. Check to see if there are any obstacles in your path that you might trip over. Any items on the floor such as children’s toys or office furniture should be moved beforehand so you can carry the item safely without tripping up.
Get in the correct position and stance – The most important aspect of lifting heavy objects is a correct stance.
- Make sure your feet are firmly placed a shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your back and neck as straight as possible, do not bend over the object.
- Bend your knees and squat down to the base of the object looking straight ahead, remembering to keep your back straight.
- Get a good grip of the item with both hands ready for lifting. If the object is not too heavy then place your hands underneath the item on each side. If that is not possible for any reason then find the most suitable grip that feels secure in your hands.
Lift and carry the item – Now you are in position you are ready to lift the object. Keep the object close to your body and push up with your legs to lift the item off the floor. When pushing up with your legs remember to keep your back and neck straight. Once you are standing with the object in your arms start to walk and move it to your destination. Try and keep everything tight and straight when moving the object, any sharp twists or turns could pull a muscle or cause other serious damage to your spine and body. Do not rush to your destination, move slowly and securely. If you feel that you are going to drop the object then quickly lower yourself and place the object back on the floor.
Placing the item on the floor – Putting the load back on the floor can be a bit tricky if you’re working with a heavy item. You might be tired and your instinct will be to drop the item on the floor quickly. Whatever you do, do not bend over to lower the object. Use the same approach as before when squatting down to pick up the item. Keep your back and neck straight and keep looking ahead. Slowly lower your knees until the item touched down and release.