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The independent voice of the global moving industry


How would you do it? You wouldn’t even try

Mar 17, 2015
After our request in the January issue of The Mover, in the wake of the tragedy in Knightsbridge, for ideas about how a professional mover would have tackled the problem of lifting a sofa over railings, the response has been unequivocal: you wouldn’t do it at all without a hoist.

After all the noises people made about criticising the Polish guys who died, only two people contacted The Mover to offer their thoughts.  We assume nobody else knew the answer either. 

Hordern Shipping said they wouldn’t have sent immigrants to do the job and would have used a Hiab if the stairs or internal lift hadn’t been usable.  Not sure what the nationality of the people had to do with the problem! 

Paul Fox, from Fox International offered more constructive advice but, fundamentally, he agrees that no professional organisation should attempt a job of that sort without the proper equipment.  His advice, despite having been trained in window work, was to hire a specialist furniture hoist and operator.  “They operate with trained staff and specific terms and conditions allowing you to understand your liability,” Paul explained.  “You will provide portering staff to load and receive items under the operator’s guidance. If the window needs removing then this is work for a qualified joiner not a removal man. If your staff are faced with a similar delivery address problem then return the items to a local warehouse (as per BAR 2014 T&Cs 1.2.8) and plan redelivery.

Paul said that it’s wise to forget old terms such as ‘ladder work’ and ‘window work’ as they are outdated and unsafe working practices. “We are agents for hire & reward and no reward is worth risking life and limb,” he said, adding that legislation is in place whereby you could personally be found criminally negligent and face a jail term, as well as a punitive fine.  “Time or resources are not excuses to endanger lives.”

Sensible advice, of course.  The moral to the story:  Don’t let the same happen to you. Be safe, not sorry.

By way of illustration, Geoff Hartwell, Director from Advanced Removals & Storage in Brockworth Gloucester, sent in a photo of how they solved the problem.


Photo:  Advanced Removals use scissor lift to access high-level apartment

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