If you’re moving boxes in and out of your loft, or within your home, it’s essential to do it the right way. Back pain caused by lifting the wrong way is common and can be extremely uncomfortable but it’s also avoidable with the right knowledge. Here is some simple guidance from those lovely people at the NHS that you should follow to avoid putting your back out:
Think before you lift
Plan where the load is going. Should you get help from a family member? Clear any obstructions out of your way first. Can you use rest the weight on a table or chair midway?
Keep the load close to the waist
This will reduce the amount of pressure on your back. Keep the heaviest side next to your body.
Adopt a stable position
Your feet should be apart with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance. Be prepared to move your feet during the lift to maintain a stable posture. Wearing over-tight clothing or unsuitable footwear, such as high heels or flip flops, may make this difficult.
Ensure a good hold on the load
Where possible, hug the load close to the body. This should help you make a stronger and more solid lift than gripping the load tightly with the hands only.
Do not bend your back when lifting
A slight bending of the back, hips and knees at the start of the lift is preferable to either fully flexing the back (stooping) or fully flexing the hips and knees – in other words, fully squatting.
Do not bend the back any further while lifting
This can happen if the legs begin to straighten before starting to raise the load.
Do not twist when you lift
Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways, especially while the back is bent. Keep your shoulders level and facing the same direction as the hips. Turning by moving your feet is better than twisting and lifting at the same time.
Keep your head up when handling the load. Look ahead, not down at the load, once it has been held securely.
Do not jerk or snatch the load as this can make it harder to keep control and increases the risk of injury.
Know your limits
Do not lift or handle more than you can easily manage. There’s a difference between what people can lift and what they can safely lift. If you’re in doubt, seek advice or get help.
Lower down, then adjust
Put the load down and then adjust. If you need to position the load precisely, put it down first, then slide it into the desired position.
There you have it… just follow these instructions when you’re lifting folks – for a happier back and fewer visits to the doctor!
Have you got the right loft ladder?
We supply and install loft ladders with great safety features such as handrails on one or both sides and extra-large treads on the steps.