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Moving Safely in the Removals Industry

Working in the Removals industry can be hard work for people and their material handling equipment. BIL MH are here to help.

The removals industry has a tough time when it comes to material handling. Factors to consider are finding the right equipment for each job but with the varying conditions throughout the industry the circumstances can change very quickly.

In this article we will explore some of the issues faced in the removals industry regarding material handling, some key handling products available on the market and will briefly touch on safe manual handling practices.

Select the right Material Handling solutions for use in the Removals Industry

Many factors will impact on the right choice of material handling equipment for a removals task. Some will be regularly encountered on most jobs but others might be experienced less often, nevertheless you should be prepared for every eventuality.

Location, Location, Location

So important in the property market it is the same in the removals industry – but for very different reasons!

Location often presents the first challenge for a removals company. In an ideal removals world, every property would be kerb side with a smooth tarmacked path in front of it. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many instances. Often there will be distances to travel to reach the front door of a property. You may need to negotiate kerbs and thresholds, travel across grass areas or gravel, and negotiate gateways or side entries. In the removals industry It is always best to be prepared for every eventuality.

Property types

Property types and sizes will all play a part in how you deal with your manual handling practices. Luck for you if you are working with a ground floor flat adjacent to a road (with easy parking!) but in reality most properties are not like this so you will often be faced with handling product in and around two-story housing, high rise flats and properties off the beaten track.

You may also not just be dealing with domestic removals. If it’s a commercial job be sure to check with the customer what manual handling practices they advise in their own workplace and what equipment you are able to use there. A risk assessment may be a key document to prepare before carrying our any removal job on commercial properties.

Stairways and steps

Many properties domestic or commercial may have stairways or thresholds to negotiate when carrying/transporting goods. Again, this may be where your risk assessment comes into play and you decide whether a suitable piece of manual handling equipment may need to be used on these specific removal jobs. The actual type of threshold also needs consideration including high rise kerbs and spiral stair ways. Later in this article we explore a useful piece of equipment to help with this and reduce the risk of injury to your workforce. Again, assessing the risks associated with the job via a risk assessment is key to safe manual handling, protecting both you and the customer.

What are you moving?

The actual products or items being moved need serious consideration. You could be moving a simple box at low weight which is able to be handballed onto the removal vehicle – happy days if that is the case. Often though, there are many other larger, heavier or awkward shaped items to be moved such as;

It is always worth asking beforehand if the customer has any significantly non-standard product that needs special consideration.

Safe manual handling

There are so many safe manual handling articles online but we advise following the recommendations from HSE on safe manual handling. As we have mentioned, so many jobs are different and have different factors influencing what may or may not go wrong. Risk assessments are always suggested and can save you significant time and money by avoiding delays, breakages and injuries.

Safe handling is a key part of the removals industry. Ensuring your staff are aware of your processes and customer’s expectations is important to the success of your business. Ensuring staff are equipped with the appropriate manual handling aids is also an essential part of the manual handling process.

Useful products for use in the removals industry

For manual handling in the removals industry, it is so important to provide the correct equipment for staff. Below we have listed some key products used throughout the industry and the benefits they provide. These products are available online and directly from BIL Group who have successfully provided safe lifting and moving equipment to a wide selection of industries for over 50 years.

Sack Trucks / Sack trolleys – Sack trucks are often the ‘go to’ manual handling aid in the removals industry due to their versatility of use over varied terrain and up and down kerbs and thresholds. Sack Trucks come in all shapes, sizes and prices so finding the desired quality can often be a challenge.

AluTruk® is our most popular sack truck for removals companies. We have various designs available made specifically for the needs of the removals industry. Some popular models are listed below but if you want to learn more about AluTruk, view Why AluTruk?

General Use – BIL offer sack truck solutions from the AluTruk range and also a quality welded range for more general use.

Stairways and thresholds – BIL also manufacture specific sack trucks for this application. A Tri-Wheel design we also offer the AluTruk with long skid bars , a useful addition for larger stairways.

Piano dolliesPiano Dollies offer a four wheeled solution for moving larger product. Originally designed for, you guessed it piano removals. They are not limited to this and can be used for various removal work.

They can come with fixed wheels, swivel castors and also pneumatic wheels for use over tougher terrain such as gravel or grass.

Platform TrucksPlatform Trucks are four wheeled trolleys coming in a range of sizes and weight loadings. They have fold down handles for easy storage and remove any strain from moving product from customer premised to the delivery vehicles.

Platform Trucks and Platform Trolleys from BIL

Kerb Ramps – A simple effective item that can be used to assist a sack truck. The kerb ramp is designed to seat against the edge of a kerb or threshold for easy access from roadside onto pathways removing the manual negotiation of pulling the sack truck wheels up the kerbside.

The removals industry is a tough place to work for both people and the equipment they use. To ensure that your removals operation runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible, avoiding costly delays due to not having the right moving equipment and damages to both goods and people, speak to our materials handling experts for the best advice and guidance on how you can move safely in the removals industry. Call us on 01249 822 222 today  or use our contact form. We’d be delighted to hear from you and we are always ready to help in any ways we can.