Top 10 tips on manual handling

Top 10 tips on manual handling

Posted on Jan 20, 2016
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Why is manual handling important for you?

Ensuring safe practices within your organisation, and that your staff, contractors, visitors and the public are safe from harm is your responsibility as a business owner or manager.

Injuries caused by poorly managed or incorrect manual handling are usually due to lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling loads. Manual handling is one of the most common causes of injury at work and is responsible for over a third of all workplace injuries.

Correct training and follow-up can ensure not just the safety of your employees and visitors but the safety of your company too.

 

Use these 10 tips when it comes to manual handling to avoid accidents and injury in your workplace.

 

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1. Conduct a manual handling risk assessment.

Risk assessments should be carried out for each type of handling task, and reviewed regularly – or when part of the task changes.

 

 

2. Ensure your employees have correct manual handling training.

All training needs to be up-to-date and in-line with current law and legislation – otherwise, there’s no point in completing it. Any health and safety training you complete should follow the HSE guidelines.

 

3. Use mechanical aids whenever possible.

It's much safer to use a trolley, sack truck, wheelbarrow or truck than your body.

 

4. Plan the lift before you start.

Where is the item going? Can you lift the load alone, or do you require help? Have you ensured the pathway is clear and there are no obstructions? Ensure you are lifting from a stable base (position your feet slightly apart to give you a solid foundation to conduct the lift).

 

5. Wear suitable clothing.

Tight clothing and unsuitable footwear is going to hinder the lift. Ensure you are wearing appropriate clothing before carrying out any form of manual handling.

 

6. Know your limits.

If the load is too heavy for you to lift on your own, don't lift it. Get help from other members of staff, or use a mechanical aid.

 

7. Push the load rather than pull it.

It's much safer to push a load than pull it. Just make sure you can see over it, and that your route is clear.

 

8. Bend your knees.

Bend at the knees to pick up and lift the load – never bend your back.

 

9. Keep your head up.

Look ahead when moving the load, not down at it. This will keep your spine in the correct position, and you'll be able to see where you're going.

 

10. Hug the load and avoid twisting or leaning.

The closer the load to your body, the less strain is put on your back. Avoid twisting or leaning as this places pressure on the spine. Turn by moving your feet instead.

 

Any training you provide your employees and staff should also be accompanied with risk assessments, monitoring and regular reviews of any processes you have in place that involve handling – this will help you ensure the training has been understood and is being applied to the tasks correctly. 

 

Why not tweet us @flicklearning and let us know what you thought of our tips and if you found them useful: we'd love to hear from you.

 

Remember, manual handling is one of the most common causes of injury at work and causes over a third of all workplace injuries, which include work related Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) such as upper and lower limb pain/disorders, joint and repetitive strain injuries. Correct training and follow-up can ensure not just the safety of your employees and visitors but the safety of your company too.

 

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