Many of us will encounter manual handling activities in the workplace whether it’s lifting a box in the store room or transporting a delivery of goods, so that puts a lot of people at risk of a manual handling injury such as musculoskeletal disorder.
In fact, manual handling is one of the biggest causes of workplace injuries every year with roughly half a million non-fatal cases of MSD being reported and many more expected down the line.
There are many ways to go about reducing these figures and avoiding a hefty claim from an employee:
Carry out a Manual Handling Risk Assessment
Before an employee undertakes any workplace activity that involves a health and safety risk there should always be a thorough risk assessment of said activity. This is also true for manual handling.
We can assist you with writing up this document via our Manual Handling Risk Assessment service
Work from a stable base
Any manual handling tasks should be conducted on a stable surface, so avoid standing on tables or chairs or any other item that may move/break during the activity and cause you to fall resulting in a serious injury.
Plan the route before you start working
If you are going to carry a load(s) for a long distance, such as from the reception to your third floor office, then make sure that you have a clear route before setting out to make your journey easier and hazard-free.
Lift with your knees
You’ve probably heard this one many times before when it comes to lifting/picking up heavy loads. Always bend your knees and use them to lift the item rather than your back as this can cause severe damage to your spine and leave you aching for the rest of the day.
Only lift what you can
Never take on a load that is too heavy. If you can’t pick it up or move it yourself, get the help of a person that can because there is nothing worse than straining yourself taking on more than you can handle.
Be aware of your surroundings
Ensure that you have a clear route with no trip hazards or obstacles, and if you are carrying out manual handling in one room, such as a stock cupboard, make sure that items are stored away safely and securely so that nothing is likely to fall and cause injury to you or another person.
Take your time
There is never any reason to run, or walk quickly, in your workplace but this is especially true when you are transporting a load and a trip, slip or collision with another person has extra risk involved.
Use other aids where possible
If you work in a role that involves a lot of manual handling, particularly of heavier items, then it may be worth investing in a mechanical aid, such as a trolley, to assist with your role and make it a little safer and easier.
Check the stability of the load (ripped boxes etc.)
As well as the surface that you are working on, the load itself should be secure and stable. For example, make sure that the box you are about to lift is not broken or ripped as the contents could fall through the bottom and cause an injury.
Manual Handling Training
All employers have a statutory duty to offer their staff the necessary health and safety training needed to fulfil their role at work safely. Hence, our manual handling course is a cost-effective and easy way of complying with health and safety regulations and fulfilling your responsibilities.