Why is dealing with manual handling important?
Manual handling injuries can have serious implications for the employer and the person who has been injured. They can occur almost anywhere in the workplace and heavy manual labour, awkward postures, repetitive movements of arms, legs and back or previous/existing injury can increase the risk.
What do I have to do?
To help prevent manual handling injuries in the workplace, you should avoid such tasks as far as possible. However, where it is not possible to avoid handling a load, employers must look at the risks of that task and put sensible health and safety measures in place to prevent and avoid injury.
For any lifting activity always take into account:
- individual capability
- the nature of the load
- environmental conditions
- work organisation
- If you need to lift something manually
- Reduce the amount of twisting, stooping and reaching
- Avoid lifting from floor level or above shoulder height, especially heavy loads
- Adjust storage areas to minimise the need to carry out such movements
- Consider how you can minimise carrying distances
- Assess the weight to be carried and whether the worker can move the load safely or needs any help – maybe the load can be broken down to smaller, lighter components