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5 Safety Tips to Follow When Lifting and Moving Heavy Boxes

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Does your job require you to lift and move heavy boxes? If so, you should take precautions to protect yourself from injury. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), four in five adults will experience low back pain during their lifetime. While back pain can be caused from any number of injuries, it's often the result of poor lifting practices. Therefore, you should follow these five tips when lifting and moving heavy boxes in the workplace.

#1) Place Hands Around the Bottom

A common mistake workers make when lifting and moving boxes is carrying them by the sides. They grab the sides of the box, believing this is the easiest and move efficient way to move them. In reality, though, you'll have a better grip on a box if you grab it around the bottom of the sides. By placing your hands around the bottom edge, you'll be able to hold the box more securely.

#2) Bend Knees to Lift

When preparing to lift a heavy box, bend your knees so that your spine remains in a natural vertical position. If you bend over to lift a heavy box, your spine will arch in an unnatural manner. And once the heavy box is in your arms, all that weight will be exerted on your spine. By bending your knees to lift heavy boxes, however, you'll retain natural spine alignment while reducing your risk of injury in the process.

#3) Don't Lift Above Shoulders

Never raise a box so that it's higher than your shoulders. If it's above your shoulders, you won't be able to control it using your body. Instead, you'll only be able to control the box using your hands, which can result in the box falling and causing injury.

#4) Plan Your Path

Before lifting a heavy box, go ahead and plan your path. In other words, determine where exactly you are going to walk while carrying the box to its intended destination. When planning your path, look for potential tripping hazards like electrical cords, rugs or other boxes. If you discover any tripping hazards such as these, remove them before proceeding to lift and move the heavy box.

#5) Seek Help When Needed

Don't be afraid to ask another worker to help you move a heavy box. You won't always be able to lift a heavy box by yourself. Maybe it's simply too heavy, or perhaps it's awkwardly shaped. Regardless, there are times when you should ask for help. With another set of hands, you'll be able to easily move the box without placing yourself at risk for injury.

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