It's exhausting to pack everything you own and move it from one home to another. Preparation, common sense and keeping an eye on safety will go a long way towards avoiding injuries while moving.
Moving can take a toll on your body in a variety of ways. Most injuries occur either because we're careless or because we're unprepared for the repetition of lifting and moving. One is avoidable; the other is not.
Cuts - With all the boxes, there are bound to be paper cuts. They just happen - and they're annoying. You can also get cuts on broken glass (mirrors, pictures, etc.) and from box cutters. Make sure to practice good knife safety.
Blisters - You're most likely to get blisters on your hands and feet. You'll be doing a lot of heavy lifting and walking while carrying things. Wear gloves. And proper footwear.
Scratched Eyes - Moving generates a lot of dust and particles that can end up in the eye. No one wants to wear safety goggles while moving. Make sure to clean off what you're moving. Injuries to the eye can also occur when someone is getting something to carry and turns quickly, hitting the person behind them in the eye. Maintain a safe distance and communicate when you're behind someone.
Broken Fingers - There are a number of ways to break a finger while moving. Probably the most common way is while moving furniture and getting the hand caught between it and the wall, floor or railing. But, injuries to the hand can also occur when something moves when you least expect it. Exercise extreme caution and keep your hands safe.
Foot injuries - Broken toes and twisted ankles are fairly common while moving. Dropped furniture wreaks havoc on toes, so make sure you're wearing proper footwear. This will also help prevent fatigue. Be aware of any areas where footing is unsafe - sidewalks, doorways and stairs. A lot of times, vision will be impaired while carrying items, so keep walkways clear at all times.
Back Injuries - Perhaps the most common and avoidable injury. You can avoid injury and strain by lifting using good technique.
- Bend at the knees, not the waist.
- Lift with the legs, not the back.
- Form a good base by keeping your feet shoulder width apart
- Lift smoothly and slowly; don't jerk.
- Keep the object you're lifting close to your body.
- Don't twist your body.
- Avoid lifting things over your head.
- Pay attention to your footing when moving anything.
- Make sure you have a good grip.
- Push rather than pull.
- Use a dolly whenever possible.
Have a first aid kit available
Although preventing injuries is optimal, they can and will occur. Make sure to have a first aid kit when you're moving and immediately treat any minor injury. Your first aid kit should include:
- Hand Towels
- Adhesive tape
- Non-adhesive dressing
- Alcohol swab
- Safety Pins
- Crepe bandage
- Sterile eye wash solution
You may be tempted to pack as much stuff into a box as possible. Don't! Exercise some restraint and keep boxes to a 30-pound limit. Pack books in small boxes to keep it under the weight limit. If you have a bad back or are prone to back strain, wear a support belt.
Injuries are common, but preventable. A little caution and common sense will help keep your move injury-free.