Manual Handling Workplace Injuries

Did you know that manual handling causes over a third of all workplace injuries? These include work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as pain and injuries to arms, legs and joints, and repetitive strain injuries of various sorts.

Manual handling covers a wide range of activities including: lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, restraining, throwing and carrying. It includes repetitive tasks such as packing, typing, assembling, cleaning and sorting, using hand-tools, operating machinery and equipment, and handling and restraining animals.

Manual handling injuries can have serious implications for the employer and the person who has been injured. They can occur almost anywhere in the workplace and heavy manual labour, awkward postures, repetitive movements of arms, legs and back or previous/existing injury can increase the risk.

Twisting, turning and bending of the back should be avoided. The risk of back injury increases during lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling of loads, if the load is: Too heavy There is no exact weight limit for manual handling.

When carrying out a manual handling task, keep the load close to the body for as long as possible while lifting. Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the body. If a close approach to the load is not possible, try to slide it towards the body before attempting to lift it. Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways, especially while the back is bent.

If you have employees that carry out manual handling activities, it is good practice to ensure they are trained in carrying out the task. A manual handling course would be beneficial. It would cover the Manual Handling Operation Regulations 1992 and other relevant legislation.

In 2013 more working days were lost to musculoskeletal problems (back and neck pain) than any other cause!

To help prevent injury in the work place where possible it is best to avoid lifting BUT of course this is not always practical.  Ensuring your employees understand the risk and put measures in place prior to moving an item is the first step to reducing the risk of accident.

If you require a course, contact us for details.

This health and safety at work summary of statistics for Great Britain for 2017 is quite interesting – http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1617.pdf

Contact us if you require further information.

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