Manual handling

  Posted February 25, 2019

What is Manual Handling?

Manual handling relates to the moving of items either by lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing or pulling. The weight of the item is an important factor, but many other factors can create a risk of injury, for example the number of times you have to pick up or carry an item, the distance you are carrying it, where you are picking it up from or putting it down (picking it up from the floor, putting it on a shelf above shoulder level) and any twisting, bending, stretching or other awkward posture you may adopt while doing a task.

Industries most likely impacted             

  • Warehouse staff – such as pickers and packers
  • Nursing and care home staff when helping their patients
  • Farmers
  • Removal Men

The standardised Manual Handling medical consists of the following assessments:

  • Questionnaire checked for previous medical history
  • Height
  • Weight
  • BMI
  • Blood Pressure
  • Basic Musculoskeletal

What can be done to avoid manual handling injuries

To help prevent manual handling injuries in the workplace, you should avoid such tasks as far as possible. However, where it is not possible to avoid handling a load, employers must look at the risks of that task and put sensible health and safety measures in place to prevent and avoid injury.

There are some simple things to do before and during the lift/carry:

  • Remove obstructions from the route.
  • For a long lift, plan to rest the load midway on a table or bench to change grip.
  • Keep the load close to the waist. The load should be kept close to the body for as long as possible while lifting.
  • Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the body.
  • Adopt a stable position and make sure your feet are apart, with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance

Read more about this here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/manual.htm

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