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How To Improve Your Manual Handling Technique

by | Sep 21, 2022 | Manual Handling

Using the correct techniques when working with heavy items is crucial. Lifting and carrying aren’t as simple as you would think, and serious consequences can become a reality if these actions are done incorrectly.

Safety Services Direct has many years of experience in improving health and safety in multiple different industries. We offer a range of safety courses, including a course on manual handling, and are fully equipped to guide you in improving your techniques. So we have put together this guide on how to improve your manual handling technique so that you can work with confidence.

What Are Safe Manual Handling Procedures?

Safe manual handling procedures are steps that you or your employees can take to limit the risk of injury. With more than a third of accidents in the UK attributed to poor manual handling, these steps are crucial for anyone who works with heavy objects. And if everyone on the floor is aware of these procedures, your entire organisation will benefit.

What Are The Four Types Of Manual Handling?

Manual handling falls into four main categories. These are:

  • Lifting
  • Pushing
  • Pulling 
  • Carrying

10 Steps To Improve Your Manual Handling Technique

  1. Ensure that your route is clear of obstructions.
  2. If you are lifting for a reasonable distance, plan to rest the load midway on a raised surface or change your grip.
  3. Adopt a stable position with feet apart (wearing appropriate shoes is also important).
  4. Get a good hold, and keep the load close to the waist, as close to the body as possible.
  5. The heaviest side of the load should be next to the body.
  6. Start lifting from a stable position with a slight bend in the knees, hips and back. Do not stoop or squat; simply soften your joints instead of flexing into any part of your body.
  7. Try not to twist your back or lean sideways. Keep your shoulders level and facing in the same direction as your hips. Turn your feet rather than twisting to move in a different direction.
  8. Once the load is lifted, keep your head up and look ahead, not down at the load.
  9. Walk smoothly without using jerking movements. Unpredictable movements will make it harder to keep control of the load.
  10. Put down the load before adjusting the position correctly. It is much easier and safer to manipulate the position once it has been lowered.

Extra tip: Do not lift more than can be easily and safely managed. You will have a maximum manual handling weight limit, and it is important not to exceed this. If you’re unsure, get help before undertaking a manual handling task.

Conclusion On Manual Handling Steps

If these steps for manual handling are followed correctly, your workforce will be a lot safer when dealing with heavy objects. There are many sectors in which manual handling training is beneficial, and it is always best to ensure that your employees have received the correct training. 

If you would like to discuss our training options or want to know more about manual handling safety, get in touch with us today or call 0121 756 9473.

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