Many job descriptions contain the phrase “must be able to lift 20 pounds” or sometimes even more. There may be more lifting and carrying for your job than you bargained for. Even if you only move heavy items every now and again, it’s important to follow all safety procedures when you do.
Use Proper Equipment
Some warehouses have a specific protocol for how to lift and move inventory, but if you work in a smaller business where heavy lifting is sporadic, you should still request proper equipment. You may only move items from point A to point B a few times a year, but that doesn’t mean you should take shortcuts. Your company should provide you with a dolly or cart with spring loaded casters for the protection of your health and for the items being moved.
Wear Safety Gear
Many injuries occur during inventory because people become blasé about wearing safety gear. If you know you will be doing physical labor that day, don’t wear dress shoes and a suit. Steel toed boots or sturdy shoes are a good place to start. A brightly colored safety vest alerts others that you are working, so you don’t get interrupted mid-move. Although many people believe that back belts prevent injury, the best way to avoid hurting yourself is to not over lift.
Keep an Eye on Your Surroundings
Often safety hazards aren’t seen until it’s too late so always keep an eye on your surroundings. If possible, send a scout ahead to clear a path, open doors and warn others that you’re coming through with boxes. The best way to move your load quickly and safely is with a smooth move that doesn’t involve stepping over obstacles or swerving around people with cups of coffee who have a quick question to ask you.
Although you may have a desk job 90% of the time, that 10% of heavy lifting can be the source of anxiety and injury. Insist that you be allowed to lift and move safely by following moving best practices.