I am guessing that when you go to lift a box or a piece of furniture you just automatically lift it without thinking. Have you ever gone to lift something thinking it was light but as you lift it realize it’s much heavier than you thought? And have you ever stacked boxes that end up being too heavy but you carry them anyways so the job will get done quicker?
You may or may not know this but there are right and wrong ways to lift a load. When you lift items incorrectly, no matter how much they weigh, you can cause serious strain and injuries to your body.
Below is a list of safety tips to help prevent injuries to your body when lifting:
- It’s always safe for you to test every load before you lift by pushing the object lightly with your hands or feet to see how easily it moves. This exercise will provide you information on the weight of the load. If it’s too heavy for you, do not try to lift it; seek someone’s help.
- Do not judge by the size of the load as even small loads might be pretty heavy to lift. Release the object on the way if you feel any kind of muscle pain or irritation.
- Use proper gears that support you well for every lift. Wear shoes with good traction and solid gripping gloves which will help you to hold the object for a longer period of time.
- Avoid standing too far from the load as it might not provide you the needed grip to hold the object properly; always stand close to the object. Align yourself properly over the load with your feet and shoulders wide apart, This will give you the exact balance needed to hold the load while lifting it.
- The best technique to lift heavier loads is to keep your back straight, bend your knees to the floor and grab the load. For heavier loads, try lifting with your full breath, and tighten your abdominal muscle too for added support.
- Make sure you lift with a slow, steady force. This will help you avoid muscle strains from having to counter an unbalanced load.
- Make use of the handles applied to the object or box as this might also provide an accurate grip and will further moderate the weight. Do not bend yourself or by any ways twist the body. This will certainly cut off your momentum and cause muscle strain.
- Always identify the path on which you will be going with the load and clear all obstacles from your intended path. Take smooth and small strides with much heavier loads to avoid muscle strain from overcompensating for shifting loads.
- Try to avoid taking loads over slippery or uneven surfaces. Hold loads on your shoulders for the best support and balance.
- Consider taking your loads over small intervals instead of carrying multiple items at the same time.