Manual Handling Risk Assessment

Protect workers from risk factors using a manual handling risk assessment tool

Published October 30th, 2020

What is Manual Handling Risk Assessment?

A manual handling risk assessment is primarily carried out by health and safety officers to evaluate the risk factors of lifting, putting down, carrying, moving, and handling objects during work operations. Assessing manual handling risks is crucial to protect workers from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), increase job satisfaction, and improve quality of work.

This article will briefly discuss the following:

4 Key Areas of Manual Handling

When performing manual handling risk assessments, the assessor mainly focuses on the 4 key areas of manual handling which is often referred to as the acronym TILE (Task, Individual, Load, and Environment). In some safety circles, “other factors” have been identified as another key area for evaluating manual handling risks, turning the assessment method into TILEO (Task, Individual, Load, Environment, and Other factors).

Manual Handling Hazards

A hazard in manual handling usually means any source that can expose workers to the risk of MSDs and other injuries. Upon identifying hazardous manual handling, assess the risks and mitigate them according to the hierarchy of controls. The most common moving and manual handling hazards include the TILEO:

  • Task: too strenuous, involves long distances, see 9 more examples
  • Individual: no training, lack of experience, unfamiliar with the job, physical capabilities, and prior history of injuries
  • Load: too heavy, too large, difficult to grasp or reach, obscures the worker’s view, and unbalanced, unstable, or if its contents can move
  • Environment: insufficient work space, uneven or slippery floors, unstable platforms, heat stress, and poor lighting
  • Other factors: monotonous tasks at a high pace and prolonged work without resting, among others

Example of Manual Handling Risks

Generally, the risk factors for manual handling follow the principle of direct correlation. For example, if the frequency, magnitude, or duration of hazardous manual handling increases, then the risk of being injured also increases, as well as the need for more effective control measures or higher levels in the hierarchy of controls. According to SafeWork Australia, the characteristics of hazardous manual tasks involve:

  • Repetitive Force – lifting and stacking goods onto a pallet
  • Sustained Force – carrying objects over long distances
  • High Force – lifting, lowering, or carrying a heavy object
  • Sudden Force – throwing or catching objects
  • Repetitive Movement – lifting goods from a conveyor belt and packing them in a carton
  • Sustained Posture – supporting plasterboard sheeting while it is nailed into place
  • Awkward Posture – squatting while servicing plant or a vehicle
  • Whole-body Vibration – operating mobile plant such as heavy earth moving machinery
  • Hand-arm Vibration – using impact wrenches, chainsaws, jackhammers, grinders, and drills (click here to learn more about HAVS: Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome)

Manual Handling Risk Assessment Tool

Assessing and mitigating manual handling risks are just the beginning. Easily demonstrate how you value your employees’ safety and build a safety culture from the ground up with iAuditor by SafetyCulture, a manual handling risk assessment tool that can help you perform the following:

  • Use manual handling risk assessment templates anytime, anywhere, and on any mobile deviceeven when offline or without internet connection
  • Take photos of manual handling risk factors and annotate images for improved visual reference
  • Assign corrective actions with a priority level and due date to effectively record and follow through on control measures
  • Auto-generate and secure manual handling assessments in the cloud and access them from wherever you are
  • Share handling assessment reports to key personnel with a tap of a finger

Get started by downloading this free collection of customizable manual handling risk assessment templates and modify them according to your business needs.

Published October 30th, 2020

What is Manual Handling Risk Assessment?

A manual handling risk assessment is primarily carried out by health and safety officers to evaluate the risk factors of lifting, putting down, carrying, moving, and handling objects during work operations. Assessing manual handling risks is crucial to protect workers from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), increase job satisfaction, and improve quality of work.

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This article will briefly discuss the following:

4 Key Areas of Manual Handling

When performing manual handling risk assessments, the assessor mainly focuses on the 4 key areas of manual handling which is often referred to as the acronym TILE (Task, Individual, Load, and Environment). In some safety circles, “other factors” have been identified as another key area for evaluating manual handling risks, turning the assessment method into TILEO (Task, Individual, Load, Environment, and Other factors).

Manual Handling Hazards

A hazard in manual handling usually means any source that can expose workers to the risk of MSDs and other injuries. Upon identifying hazardous manual handling, assess the risks and mitigate them according to the hierarchy of controls. The most common moving and manual handling hazards include the TILEO:

  • Task: too strenuous, involves long distances, see 9 more examples
  • Individual: no training, lack of experience, unfamiliar with the job, physical capabilities, and prior history of injuries
  • Load: too heavy, too large, difficult to grasp or reach, obscures the worker’s view, and unbalanced, unstable, or if its contents can move
  • Environment: insufficient work space, uneven or slippery floors, unstable platforms, heat stress, and poor lighting
  • Other factors: monotonous tasks at a high pace and prolonged work without resting, among others

Example of Manual Handling Risks

Generally, the risk factors for manual handling follow the principle of direct correlation. For example, if the frequency, magnitude, or duration of hazardous manual handling increases, then the risk of being injured also increases, as well as the need for more effective control measures or higher levels in the hierarchy of controls. According to SafeWork Australia, the characteristics of hazardous manual tasks involve:

  • Repetitive Force – lifting and stacking goods onto a pallet
  • Sustained Force – carrying objects over long distances
  • High Force – lifting, lowering, or carrying a heavy object
  • Sudden Force – throwing or catching objects
  • Repetitive Movement – lifting goods from a conveyor belt and packing them in a carton
  • Sustained Posture – supporting plasterboard sheeting while it is nailed into place
  • Awkward Posture – squatting while servicing plant or a vehicle
  • Whole-body Vibration – operating mobile plant such as heavy earth moving machinery
  • Hand-arm Vibration – using impact wrenches, chainsaws, jackhammers, grinders, and drills (click here to learn more about HAVS: Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome)

Manual Handling Risk Assessment Tool

Assessing and mitigating manual handling risks are just the beginning. Easily demonstrate how you value your employees’ safety and build a safety culture from the ground up with iAuditor by SafetyCulture, a manual handling risk assessment tool that can help you perform the following:

  • Use manual handling risk assessment templates anytime, anywhere, and on any mobile deviceeven when offline or without internet connection
  • Take photos of manual handling risk factors and annotate images for improved visual reference
  • Assign corrective actions with a priority level and due date to effectively record and follow through on control measures
  • Auto-generate and secure manual handling assessments in the cloud and access them from wherever you are
  • Share handling assessment reports to key personnel with a tap of a finger

Get started by downloading this free collection of customizable manual handling risk assessment templates and modify them according to your business needs.

Author

Shine Colcol

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.