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How To Stay Safe And Avoid Injuries When Moving

We know that moving can be a very stressful and emotional journey for most, but most of us
realize the physical toll that it has on us only after it is complete. From packing the belongings
to lifting heavy weights, there are a number of risks that are associated with moving home,
especially when you are carrying out the move on your own. For avoiding injury and maximizing
safety during your move, you should be aware of all the potential dangers that can cause
physical harm to you, your belongings, or others. Even if you are working for a moving
company, it is still recommended that you know about all safety precautions that need to be
taken to minimize physical damage. In this blog, we take a look at the moving safety tips and
some of the best moving practices that you need to know for staying safe, avoiding injuries, and
preventing physical harm during the move. If you have decided to take on the move on your
own, following these will help you take care of your belongings and yourself on the moving day.

AVOIDING COMMON INJURIES:

There are a number of injuries that can happen during a move and there are countless reasons
as to how these injuries can be caused. In this section, we take a look at some of the most
common moving injuries and how you can avoid them.

One of the most common injuries that occur during a move are back injuries. It is essential that
you protect your back when moving since it significantly affects your daily routine. Always start
the move with a few stretching exercises that will help the body warm up.

When lifting, it is advised that you always lift with the legs and not the back to minimize the
strain on the back. It is also important to maintain proper posture when lifting heavy objects
since a lazy posture can lead to strains, muscle soreness, and sprains in the lower back.

You can also sustain severe injuries to the back during heavy lifting as well. These injuries
include a spinal injury or a slipped (herniated) disc that is mainly caused by muscle inflexibility
and overuse. While the chances of sustaining a severe back injury are less when you lift a single
heavy object, the risk is much higher when you lift a number of such heavy items (such as on
moving day when you are loading the items into the truck).

Broken bones are yet another common injury that people suffer when they move heavy
objects. You should take care not to carry objects in awkward postures or positions and you
should avoid putting too much weight on any particular part of your body. In particular, we
advise you to look after your fingers since it can be very easy to get them wedged between
doors, walls, and heavy objects.

If you manage to avoid back injuries and broken bones. then you have taken care of the major
injuries that could occur on moving day. The next precautionary measure that you need to take
is to avoid straining and pulling muscles since this can happen to just about anyone at any time,
even if you are not lifting heavy items! These injuries occur when the muscles are not prepared
enough for the stress that you are putting them through, or can also commonly occur due to
dehydration. Therefore, it is recommended that you always keep yourself well hydrated and
ensure that you follow a warm up routine before doing anything on moving day.
To conclude, it is necessary that you know the physical limits of your body and be careful about
back injury, broken bones, and pulled (or strained muscles) to make it through the moving day
safely.

MOVING SAFETY TOOLS:

One effective method for helping in reducing the strain on the body is by making use of moving
tools that make the job more convenient, easier, and safer. These moving tools include:

  • Hand dollies or trucks that reduce the physical burden of lifting heavy and oversized
    objects.
  • Gloves that can help add a layer of protection to the fingers for preventing splinters and
    assisting grip when you lift slippery or heavy objects.
  • Sliders for furniture that can help move heavy furniture such as armoires and sofas easily
    across a room, this lessens the amount of time and effort that you need for holding them
    and moving them.
  • High-quality, rubber sole sneakers that provide a firm grip on the ground and support your
    feet when you lift heavy objects.
  • Forearm devices such as forklift devices that can facilitate the lifting and moving of awkward-sized objects such as a mattress.

These moving tools are an additional expense, but again, you should consider that injuries and
accidents can cost you a lot more than you can imagine which is why this is an investment that
is worth making. Do not underestimate how valuable these safety tools can be – they help you
avoid injuries, make your move more convenient, and ensure that everything is done quickly
and on time.

GENERAL MOVING SAFETY RULES:

Now that we have all the basics covered, let us move on to discussing the general rules of
moving for maximum safety that you should keep in mind for making sure that the move is
trouble-free and easy for you:

  • Do not wear loose or long clothing that can get twisted or stuck during the moving process
    – such as when you are lifting a heavy object.
  • Ensure that you remain hydrated throughout to avoid cramps and fatigue – keep sufficient
    water with you at all times.
  • Make sure that you keep a check on the weather conditions since rain or snow can cause
    unwanted delays in the moving process. Be prepared with mops and towels in case there is
    a prediction for rain or snow.
  • The best time of the day for loading and unloading boxes is the early hours of the morning –
    the time when everyone is full of energy and motivation particularly in the summers, when
    the day gets hotter with each passing hour.
  • Wear the proper footwear and clothing on moving day. Make sure that there are no
    shirttails, loose sleeves, and baggy pockets in the clothing that can get snagged. Make sure
    that the footwear is durable and supportive with a firm grip, especially on slippery and wet
    surfaces. Hiking boots are a good option of what you should wear on moving day, especially
    if you are expecting rain. Never wear open-toed shoes or sandals!
  • Keep the moving space clear and organized so that there are no unwanted obstacles – leave
    sufficient space for moving around the house so that you can access all areas.
  • Whenever possible, keep the lighter and more fragile items aside from the heavy boxes and
    clearly mark the fragile items to make sure that anyone carrying them knows that they need
    special care. Have all the boxes and items ready and prepared for moving before the moving
    day arrives.
  • When moving on your own, it is essential that you assign everyone a specific role and leave
    the heavy lifting to people that can handle the stress and strain. For instance, if you have a
    relative or friend that is well-built and muscular helping you out, ask them to carry the
    heavier loads since their body is more suitable for the role.
  • There will be certain items that will require two or more people for moving such as
    furniture or heavy electrical appliances. Do not try to lift these on your own. If you have an
    extra person (or more than one) then ask them to help you out and properly direct them on
    how to carry the load. If you have another extra person available, ask them to communicate
    the instructions for lifting to you to ensure maximum safety.
  • Keep pets and children out of harm’s way by keeping them at a distance from the moving processes. Ideally, you would want them to stay over a relative’s or friend’s on moving day until you are packed and ready to go. You do not want to be worried about the children’s safety when you are moving and since you are not in much control of where they go and crawl, it is best that you either leave them at a close one’s house or hire a babysitter to look after them.
  • When dealing with large appliances such as pianos, furniture, and antiques, you will require some additional assistance and special handling with the dismantling and reassembly of such items. If you and anyone helping out is not sure of how to handle these specialty items, you should hire a professional mover to help you out with it to avoid inconveniences.

AVOIDING INJURIES WHEN MOVING:

Now that you are aware of the safety rules for moving, let us take a look at the best practices
that you can follow for preventing injuries and avoiding accidents while moving.

Keep the box weight under control:

When you are packing, make sure that all the boxes that weigh under a maximum limit of 50
pounds. Do not try to cram in too many items into a single box since this will make it very
difficult to carry around.

If you are unsure if the weight of a box is right or not, try to lift it – if you can lift a box without
putting too much strain on the body then it should be good to go. You should also make sure
that you can stand steadily on both feet when you ‘weighing’ the box, as well.

Why is this important? Remember that you will need to carry these moving boxes up the stairs,
down the stairs, and a measurable distance to the moving truck which means that you can
easily strain or injure yourself when lifting the boxes.

To avoid this, you should try to keep the weight of the box to a minimum and as we earlier
mentioned, you should always use a proper technique for lifting these boxes – never bend
down to pick up a heavy object, squat and lift with the entire lower body (especially the legs).

Rent out the equipment:

To help move heavier and larger objects such as furniture more easily, it is advised that you
rent out or purchase the right moving equipment. For instance, a dolly can help you save the
effort of having to carry the moving boxes through long distances and it can even assist you in
moving multiple boxes simultaneously, as well. You can also rent out straps that can be used for
securing the boxes to the dolly and for lifting the boxes

Take an inspection of the property:

Before the moving day arrives, it is best practice to check out the entire area surrounding your
current and new house to be able to make the move safer and more efficient. During the
inspection, here is a list of things that you need to look out for:

  • The closest spot to the house where you can park the moving truck for convenience in
    loading and unloading the moving boxes. If there is a need, keep this spot reserved prior to
    the moving day to ensure that the truck can be parked here.
  •  If there are uneven walkway areas or uneven sidewalks, then mark them with the use of an
    environmental friendly chalk to highlight that there is a bump or uneven area. If you have a
    front walkway in your old or new home, mark them with the chalk as well to ensure that
    they can be clearly seen. This is done to prevent accidental slips and falls. During the move,
    you will be distracted, especially when carrying heavy objects, which could mean that you
    miss out on a step that can eventually lead to injury.
  • Look for entrances or walkways that can become slippery when they are wet (such as those
    made of glossy tiles). These should be covered with a traction mat (that you can rent out
    from a moving company). The same practice should be carried out for uneven surfaces and
    grassy areas, as well, to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Check if there are any posts, tree branches, poles, low hanging objects, ground level protrusions, or other hazards in the location that might cause a problem during the move. Try to either remove these obstacles completely or mark them with bright colors so that they can be clearly seen from a safe distance.

Stay organized:

Label all boxes properly so that you can keep a track on all of your belongings and know exactly
what is in each box – this will help you when you reach the new location and make your life
much easier. You can make use of tape to color code the boxes so you know which section of
the home they belong to. A good safety tip is to color code the boxes according to weight, too.
For instance, all lightweight boxes can be labelled with green tape and these can be carried and
moved by everyone while the heavy boxes can be labelled with red tape and should only be
carried by the strongest individuals. This will make the move more efficient and prevent
unwanted injuries.

Keep yourself fueled:

On moving day, take a balanced meal of proteins and carbohydrates and make sure that you
drink plenty of water throughout the day for ensuring that you remain fueled and energized for the entire day. During the move, it is even advised to consume beverages that contain
electrolytes to ensure that you keep the energy and hydration levels high.

Always keep an emergency kit with you:

Whether you are packing at your home or moving out to the new location, keep an emergency
kit with you on hand at all times. The emergency kit should, at a bare minimum, include band
aids, medicated ointment, aspirin, and emergency telephone numbers. This is important to take
the right measures in case of an accident since even minor injuries such as a blister can be very
painful if not treated properly. It is also advised to make sure that you have a fully-charged cell
phone with you to make emergency calls whenever needed.

CONCLUSION:

We all know that moving can be a very stressful job and can take quite a toll on the mind but
we often tend to ignore the physical effects of moving, especially when you are taking on the
move on your own. There are countless ways of injuring yourself when moving that include
slipping on wet surfaces and straining the body when lifting heavy objects. While most injuries
that can occur are minor, they still slow down the moving process for you, something that can
be avoided by simply taking the right precautions. Not to mention the risk of major injuries such
as broken bones and back disorders that will not only stop the move from happening but will
incur high medical charges on you, as well. Therefore, it is essential that you know exactly how
to approach a move from the safety perspective. In this guide, we have highlighted all the tips
and rules that you need to be aware of when moving to minimize the risk of injury. These
include using the best practices for moving, renting out the right moving equipment, and
keeping the children and pets away from the moving process.