Unloading your goods – are your employees at risk?

Sunday, September 8, 2013 - 10:00

The last thing you, or your employees need is an injury and time of work.

So when that delivery comes in, be sure you follow some important lifting techniques to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you.

You’ll find lots more handy haulage and transport information in our information section.

How to unload your goods and lift boxes safely

Before you start the process of packing up boxes and unloading them out of the container/trailer, follow these great tips on the best way to move and lift without ruining your day.

Clear your path.

Make sure there are going to be no obstacles in your way. You’ll need a clear pathway when moving boxes. Watch out for hazards like rugs or doorways that can cause you problems.

Check the object before you try to lift it?

 

  • It’s important to test every load before you lift, by pushing the object lightly with your hands or feet to see how easily it moves. It’ll give you an idea how heavy it is.
  • A small size does not always mean a light load – try not to get caught out.
  • Has the load you want to lift been packed correctly?
  • You should ensure the weight is balanced and packed so it won’t move around as you lift it.
  • Loose pieces inside a box can cause accidents if the box becomes unbalanced.
  • Is it easy to grip this load?
  • Be sure that you have a tight grip on the object before you try to lift it.
  • Are there any handles? Handles applied to the object could help you lift it easier.
  • Is it easy to reach this load?
  • In order to avoid hurting your back, you should use a ladder if you’re lifting something over your head.
  • Try to get as close as you can to the load or slide it towards you if you can.
  • Do not arch your back–avoid reaching out for an object.
  • Let your arms and legs do the work – not your back.
  • Turn with your feet.
  • When you need to turn, turn by moving your feet. Don’t twist your body. You can injure your back by rotating at your waist.

What’s the best way to pick up an object?

  • Slow it down! Be sure to use slow and smooth movements. Hurried movements will strain the muscles in your back.
  • Make sure your body facing the object while you lift it as twisting while can hurt your back.
  • Keep your load as close to your body as you can. Reaching out to lift and carry an object will hurt your back.
  • You should only lift with your legs if you can straddle the load. To lift with your legs, bend your knees, not your back, to pick up the load. Keep your back straight.
  • Try to carry the load in the space between your shoulder and your waist. This puts less strain on your back muscles.
  • Walk slow and steady.
  • Walking too fast could result in losing your balance.

How can I avoid back injuries?

  • Warm up. Stretch your legs and your back before lifting anything.
  • Pace yourself. Take many small breaks between lifts if you are lifting a number of things.
  • Don’t overdo it–don’t try to lift something too heavy for you. If you have to strain to carry the load, it’s too heavy.
  • Make sure you have enough room to lift safely. Clear a space around the object before lifting it.
  • Look around before you lift, and look around as you carry. Make sure you can see where you are walking. Know where you are going to put down the load.
  • Avoid walking on slippery, uneven surfaces while carrying something.
  • Don’t rely on a back belt to protect you. It hasn’t been proven that back belts can protect you from back injury.
  • Get help before you try to lift a heavy load. Use a dolly or a forklift if you can.

For more information on our haulage services: go to our home page: www.samstransport.co.uk