Yesterday I had to attend a mandatory training session for work on manual handling. I had absolutely no idea what it was going to involve and really wasn’t looking forward to attending. I am a computer hermit at work. I come into work and sit in my office for hours, hiding behind my computer. When I do venture out, it always creates a bit of a buzz. Hey, there’s that girl who sits in her office all day! I’ve been there over 6 years and I’d say that the majority of staff attending this event had no idea who I was or that I have worked there for as long as I have.
Walking into the room, my eye was immediately drawn to three items in the middle of the room. A big orange traffic cone weighing 15 pounds, a small suitcase and a box. I thought this was odd but it also sparked a bit of interest.
I was told that manual handing was all about showing us how to safely lift items without hurting ourselves. I have to say that I actually enjoyed the training, I learnt quite alot on the day. As I’ve gotten older, I have found that I have muscles I never knew I had. I’ve managed to pull muscles in my back, shoulders, neck and legs. It’s actually pretty painful and now I know there are practical steps I can take to prevent injury.
Here are a few tips I picked up.
- Bend the knees – Don’t ever try and pickup heavy items without bending first.
- Stick your bum out – It isn’t pretty and something my Mum always taught me not to do. But you have to stick your bum out.
- Get a grip – It’s really important to position both your hands so that you have a good hold of the item.
- Ready, Steady – Make sure your feet are positioned around the same width as your shoulders.
- No Twists – Don’t twist your body when you lift. It will more than likely cause a pulled muscle or twinge
- Look Forward – Avoid the temptation of looking at what you are picking up, keep your head forward.
I passed the training after successfully picking up all three items using the above techniques. Hopefully I will remember these tips when I am next moving furniture around my home.
Lifting really can cause serious injury and long term problems for your body so give these tips a go.