Even if you’re pallet shipping a piece of furniture just the once, improper lifting can lead to very serious back problems. Make the effort to lift correctly every time, because even if you don’t feel it in now, your back will definitely let you know in years to come. Here are some safe practices to ensure you are using the best lifting posture.
Don’t wear heels on the job!
Balance is obtained by keeping your feet apart with one leg a little forward. Keep your open posture during any lifting and maneuvering. High heels and flip-flops are not your friends while loading a pallet.
If you can, press the load closely to your body for added support. This can give you better balance than if you were to use hands alone.
Don’t bend it like Beckham
Keep your back straight, don’t stoop down in order to grab. Support comes from your hips and knees which should be slightly flexed.
No limb left behind
If you begin to straighten your legs before lifting you can strain the back, so be sure all limbs are working in unison.
Don’t twist the night away
Keep your shoulders level and matching your hips. Don’t try and twist your back in order to pass a bulky object through a tight space, move your whole body with the object. Think on your feet.
Hold your head up high
Look down and evaluate the best place from which to lift before reaching. Once you’ve positioned yourself keep your eyes on the horizon and your head level.
You are not a Hindu God
Whether or not you feel like you have octo-arms is another matter, but if you need to make any adjustment, don’t try and rebalance mid carry. Put it down and reevaluate or reposition yourself.
Too heavy to handle
If it’s too heavy, don’t try and lift it anyway. Reserve your Schwarzenegger moment for your best deep Austrian accent. Your body will tell you when something is too heavy, and if you don’t listen you could hurt yourself.
Always listen to your body, if your back is telling you no, get some friends to help you out. What you lift today will have consequences tomorrow. Move your feet, squat from the knees and hips, and never bend your back.