5 basic rules to prevent accidents and injury during a move

December 8, 2014

In the rush of moving day, it's easy to overlook safety. To ensure no one gets hurt, follow these 5 basic rules to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.

5 basic rules to prevent accidents and injury during a move

According to the CSST, one third of all professional movers suffer from back injury—despite being trained to use proper lifting techniques. Presumably you are not a professional mover, which is why you should be extra careful when moving with the help of friends and loved ones. In fact, being aware of the potential dangers involved goes a long way in preventing accidents and injury during a move.

1. Take charge

If you've always imagined yourself in the role of an operations manager, this is perfect training. You'll need to oversee the entire operation, and therefore:

  • Be ready at the new home to greet your helpers and direct them to the rooms where boxes and furniture go.
  • Keep them hydrated by providing plenty of water, especially on hot summer days.
  • Intervene when you see anyone breaking the safety rules.

2. Follow five basic rules

  1. No one is to carry unnecessarily heavy loads or oversized items on their own. Insist that two people move large items, even if they're lightweight.
  2. No one should ever carry more than one box at a time; they need to see where they're walking to avoid tripping.
  3. Require non-slip shoes (no sandals!) and gloves for everyone. This will improve traction and reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Have in place the necessary equipment to carry appliances and heavy loads, such as straps, dollies and hand trucks.
  5. Load the truck so that larger items are at the back. This will allow your helpers to warm up their muscles a little bit before moving them and therefore reduces the risk of injury.

3. Clear obstacles

Anyone taking a break should avoid high-traffic areas.

  • Downtime could be used to pick things up off the floor and clear away anything cluttering walkways and paths.

4. Protect your body

Bending with the knees is not enough to avoid injury.

  • You must rely only on the thighs muscles and never on the back when lifting.
  • It’s important to carry the load as close to the body as possible.
  • If you’re losing your grip or need a break when carrying a heavy load, take your time and put it down.


  • No open-toed shoes are allowed on the premises, and that includes the "operations manager”.
  • Clothing should cover the shoulders and knees. (Anyone wanting to flex their muscles and show off their buff physique will have to wait until after the move!)
  • Wear a hat if it's hot and sunny.

5. Minimizing risk

Moveable parts of furniture must be secured (drawers, doors, sofa bed, full-length mirror).

  • Disassemble them completely, or anchor them to the piece of furniture.
  • Boxes should be reinforced with duct tape on the bottom and the top to prevent them from opening.
  • Label any boxes that are either "heavy" or "fragile".
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