If you're doing a big project, there's often a lot of lifting involved. That lifting can be hard on your back. Regardless of what you are doing, there are key safety rules you should keep in mind to protect your back. Here are some tips for protecting your back while loading items into a dumpster.
Use a Door and Load the Heavy Stuff First
Many roll-off dumpsters have doors. They are often called walk-in dumpsters. If possible, look for a dumpster with a door. Plan to load the biggest and heaviest items first and simply push them in through the door. This protects your back from strains associated with trying to lift up these items and throw them in over the sides of the dumpster.
This approach also makes it easier to fit more stuff in the dumpster. Once you have the big items in, the small items can easily fit around them.
Use the Ladder as Needed
Once you've closed the door, the ladder can help you avoid injuries with some medium-sized items. Have one person climb the ladder and have another person stand on the ground. Then, hand the load up to the person on the ladder so they can drop it in.
This prevents the sideways movement and potential strains that can come from trying to hoist a heavy load over the side and into the dumpster. Make sure to only do this with loads that are light enough to lift relatively easily by each person involved.
As a general rule of thumb, you should never lift more than 51 pounds by yourself, and that limit may need to be lowered depending on your strength.
Cut Down Big Loads
It also helps to cut down big loads. If you're filling garbage bags, choose medium or small bags. If you're loading branches, cut them down before putting them in. Take similar steps with other types of garbage.
Use a Dolly
Putting garbage into the roll-off container is only part of the battle. You also have to get the garbage to the dumpster. Don't make yourself carry heavy loads all day long. Instead, give your body a break by using a dolly.
In lieu of a dolly, an old stroller can also work. A double stroller with inflatable bicycle wheels is the best for projects like this. Alternatively, you could use a cart that's designed for hauling groceries. A wagon can also work as long as you don't have to bend down to pull it with the handle.
Consider Wearing a Weightlifting Belt
It can also help to wear a weightlifting belt. These belts are not just for weight lifters. They are also commonly used by people who work in shipping and receiving departments, professional movers or anyone who does a lot of lifting throughout the day.
The belt doesn't make it possible for you to lift more, and it doesn't stop you from getting injured. Rather, it reminds you to keep your back in the proper alignment as you lift.
Imagine you are bending at the knees to pick up a heavy load of trash from the ground. At the same time, the lifting belt acts like a gentle hand on your back, reminding you to keep your spine in the proper alignment. Without that gentle touch, you may end up bending too far forward or making other lifting mistakes.
Most importantly, never try to move the dumpster on your own. Always let the professionals set up and pick up your dumpster. To book a dumpster or roll-off container for your next project, contact us at Pro-Star Roll-Off Dumpsters today.