So you are moving house and thinking about packing up your belongings for the big day. But have you considered the hidden hazards that you could come across whilst transferring items between properties? Here are some health and safety concerns to consider during your house move, not just for you but for your family and friends who help you along the way.
When packing it is tempting overload your boxes with items to cut back on time and money, but this should not be done at the expense of your own health. Periodically check the weight of your moving boxes as you pack, to ensure that you are not getting carried away. And remember to spread your heavy and light items between boxes to avoid creating impossibly heavy loads, as well as marking particularly heavy moving boxes so you and your removals company are adequately prepared.
Learning to pick up and carry boxes correctly may sound like the most tedious of health and safety lectures, but unless you know how to do this you risk back injury during your house move. Tips on manual handling can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website here, but simple steps include warming up before you lift, pacing yourself and making sure you have enough room to life safely.
It is actually illegal to transport many dangerous substances, and some things that are classified as dangerous may surprise you. Using chemicals in your day to day life may not seem like a big deal, but when they are being transported you risk them being spilled and causing damage to your surroundings or other people. Examples include weed killer, cans of open paint, ammonia, cleaning solvents, motor oil and poisons, but an extensive list can be found online.
Speak to your removals company about legislation if you are unsure about how to transport hazardous materials. And it goes without saying that items with have the potential to leak should not be packed- if you have open tins or paints or unused household cleaning products, drain or give them away rather than taking them with you. And you should certainly never consider trying to move anything flammable.
Unless you are only moving over the road, try and consume all your perishable items before you move house instead of bringing them with you, because many removals companies will not accommodate perishable foods for long distances. If you cannot eat them before the big day, pass them on to family and friends to prevent them going to waste.
If you do choose to transport perishable goods yourself, make sure you unpack your fridge first rather than moving it whilst full. Invest in some ice chests to keep your items cool, and check the expiration dates of items like ketchup- there is no point bringing something that is going to expire before the move anyway. And don’t forget to defrost your freezer in the week running up to the big day, so you have an opportunity to clean up any water marks left behind.