Start the School Year Right: Move in Safely!

To many, the end of August means a new school year, a new schedule and, often, a new dorm room. While these changes are exciting, to some they can be dangerous. The sweltering heat various regions face can create many health problems, while the weight of moving boxes can often lead to neck, back and shoulder injuries. 

In many ways, building or repairing a pallet is similar to moving. The repetitive lifting of a heavy object can be taxing on the body, regardless of if it's a couch or a pallet! This is why the study of ergonomics is so important to any manufacturer that has employees working in physically demanding positions. 

While there is machinery and equipment available to those lifting professionals, most college freshmen and their families don't have access to the industrial ergonomic equipment used in our industry. Fortunately, there are still some tips we can offer to prevent injuries during the move-in process. 

  1. Go Slow. Remember to use slow, smooth movements. Over-exerting yourself or using quick and jerky movements can lead to injury.
  2. Test the load. Gently pick up the load and make sure nothing shifts, or is too heavy for you. Be sure to check that what you are carrying is steady and nothing will roll around. 
  3. Create a Wide Base.Keep your feet shoulder-width apart to get the best support. 
  4. Bend at the knees and keep good posture so your back remains in alignment. 
  5. Lift (slowly). Straighten the knees and waist, not your back, when standing up with your load. It's very important to maintain good posture and do NOT twist at the waist. 

Congratulations! You should now be able to safely carry those boxes of textbooks, clothes and snacks. Remember to lead with the hips and use your core muscles when climbing stairs. 

Whether you're a parent emptying the nest, a nervous freshman or an experienced senior, Millwood wishes everyone a safe new school year!

Author: Paige Greene

Categories: Ergonomics