While there are many jokes made about health and safety, the actual concept is completely
valid. In fact, you could make a strong case for arguing that looking after yourself and those near and dear to you is one of the most important actions we can all take in our lives.
Moving house is a time when health and safety can really come to the fore, so here are some tips.
Pack up properly
When you think about packing for a house move, probably your first priority will be to pack in a way which gives your belongings a good chance of arriving in one piece. The good news is that this is an excellent foundation for ensuring that you can unpack your belongings without damage to yourself.
For example, winding up an electrical cable and securing it with a cable tie will not only help to prevent the cable itself from being damaged, it will help to avoid it trailing along the ground and creating a tripping hazard as it is being moved from the packing box to its designated new home.
Lift from the knees
Even if you’re using professional movers, the chances are you’re going to have to do some heavy lifting yourself. Remember the old advice about lifting from the knees rather than bending from the back. It really is there for a reason and it’s what you’ll see professional movers doing.
Now is also a good time to point out that boxes are much easier to carry if the weight is evenly distributed across them, this also helps to protect the contents.
Keep big boxes for light items
If you fill a big box full of heavy items, then you are basically asking for trouble. The weight will literally pile up to the point where it will become a health and safety hazard. Instead, use big boxes for items which are bulky but light, such as duvets, and put heavy items in small, sturdy boxes.
Keep boxes (full or empty) in the centre of each room
In addition to getting each box to its designated room, you also want to ensure that it is in a safe place in that room. While it may be tempting just to dump a box as soon as you can, doing so can be very dangerous.
Leaving boxes in doorways and passageways or anywhere else there is high footfall, is essentially setting up both a tripping hazard and a potential barrier to exiting the property in case of an emergency.
Dispose of your packaging appropriately
In this case, we’re talking safety rather than sustainability, although that’s an important point too. Boxes are made of cardboard and that is a fire hazard. That being so, you want to get them out of the main property as quickly as possible. If they are in good condition then they would probably be very welcome in charity shops. If they are not, then if at all possible you want to put them into a metal recycling bin, be it a communal one or one for your specific property.