A comprehensive guide about manual handling and how it can be applied to the organization
Published 28 Jul 2023
Manual handling is an activity of transporting or supporting a load including lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, throwing, and moving objects by hand or bodily force. It is a common practice in different industries such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and more. However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reported that the cause of over a third of all workplace injuries along with work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and repetitive strain injuries are due to manual handling. Being unable to safely do it can lead to serious implications for employers and employees may suffer from injuries.
Heavy manual labor, repetitive movements of arms and legs, and awkward postures can increase the risks of manual handling work-related injuries. The four key areas of manual handling:
Often referred to as the acronym TILE, it can help assessors identify the risks associated with manual tasks.
TILE: Task, Individual, Load, Environment | SafetyCulture
All employers are required by the Manual Handling Operations Regulations to prevent, assess, and reduce the risk of injury from manual handling. Proper implementation of manual handling can help the organization to:
According to the Health and Safety at Work summary statistics in 2019/20, there are 480,000 new or longstanding workers who suffer from work-related MSDs in Great Britain alone. The estimated main cause of this injury is due to manual handling, awkward or tiring positions, and keyboard work or repetitive action. Here are the 5 principles of manual handling that can be maximized to achieve safer lifting practices in the workplace.
Repetitive tasks and bad lifting habits are the usual causes of back pain that may trigger MSDs in the long run. In order to prevent this, here are some useful tips organizations can follow to avoid hazards while performing manual handling.
Enforcing manual handling training is vital to ensure the safety of employees. Having a core understanding of policies, procedures, proper lifting technique, and other principles are necessary to avoid incidents. It is a mutual responsibility for employers and employees to put sensible health and safety measures in place while performing manual handling.
Manual handling training | SafetyCulture
Providing manual handling training would let employees learn the basic principles of manual handling techniques and how to properly implement them. It aids in awareness to reduce risks in the workplace and plays an important role to ensure employees can carry out safe manual handling during operations. It is important to keep the training relevant to the type of work to be carried out. Here are some factors employees should consider when performing manual handling.
Prioritize every worker’s health and help keep them safe by making sure they take and complete their manual handling training. Some examples of manual handling tasks include packaging or lifting boxes, operating hand tools or other machinery, assembling products, pulling or pushing trolleys, and cleaning. If your employees are engaged in these types of activities, they are highly vulnerable to musculoskeletal injuries and other related disorders. As an employer, you have a responsibility to ensure that your business’ manual handling operations are carried out correctly so that workplace injuries and accidents are minimized. Additionally, with manual handling training, you can increase your employees’ awareness, improve their performance, and reduce absences due to injuries.
We’ve created a list of manual handling training courses that cover a range of subjects such as storing and handling chemicals, equipment, machinery, and power tools. All these courses can help prevent or eliminate serious health and safety risks in the workplace and increase workplace productivity.
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Manual handling is not as simple as lifting objects, it should be performed with proper knowledge on handling techniques to avoid body strain. Conducting training and proper assessment to mitigate manual handling risks are just the beginning. With SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), an inspection, issue capture, and corrective action platform, employers can help their organizations keep a safe and healthy environment for their employees. Take advantage of its best features:
To save you time, we have created a ready-to-use manual handling risk assessment template you can download for free and it is fully customizable according to your business needs, or you can check out our Public Library of free checklist templates that can be used by any employee in almost all industries. You also have an option to convert your existing PDF, Word Document, Excel, or PowerPoint files into SafetyCulture checklists for free up to 3 files.
A manual handling risk assessment is a tool used by safety officers to identify hazards that may cause musculoskeletal injuries to workers when performing manual handling. It helps evaluate the load capacity of an item and identify the risks while lifting or transporting loads.
Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.
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