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.They can also affect joints, tendons and muscles all over the body, developing over time and sometimes progressing from a mild niggle to severe pain.

They’re a problem not only for individual workers, but also for businesses, economies and society, and are one of the most common causes of disability, sick leave and early retirement. The importance of manual handing in not only our work environment, but also our private and social lives is imperative to our health and well-being.

What does manual handling mean?

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, as amended in 2002, apply to a wide range of activities, including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying. “Manual handling operations mean any transporting or supporting of a load (including lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving) by hand or by bodily force.” More than a quarter of reported injuries relate to the handling of goods and materials. Manual handling is one of the key health and safety concerns in the workplace as almost every organisation in any sector will have some form of manual handling activities being carried out on a daily basis.

Legal obligations

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) legislation was first introduced in 1992 as part of a series of EC Directives which were adopted into UK legislation and updated in 2002.

The regulations state that an employer must:

  • Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable
  • Assess the risk of injury from any manual handling task that cannot be avoided
  • Reduce the risk of injury from manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable

It is essential that an employer has conducted a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and tried to reduce any risks associated with manual handling.

The benefits

If you’re taught how to correctly lift, pull and push heavy or awkward objects, there’s a serious long-term benefit to be enjoyed. No one wants to reach the latter stages of their life and experience on-going chronic back pain. Correct manual handling will protect your back as your body grows older, and that means a life that won’t be blighted by one of the most debilitating pains you can experience. Manual handling training can also alleviate the pressure put on the workforce by ensuring there are less sick days and medical appointments related to back problems, resulting in greater productivity. Investment in staff and their well-being should always be at the forefront of companies and shows a commitment and understanding to future development.

What does a manual handling course entail?

Manual Handling Training looks to ‘prevent’ workplace injuries that can be endured when competing tasks such as Manual Handling. Using method ‘prevention is better than cure’ theory, the specific course will improve  employee’s knowledge, training and experience of good safe practice within the workplace. This will help to reduce and hopefully prevent any further injuries as a result of poor Manual Handling training.

A Manual Handling course should cover:-

  • Anatomy of the spine
  • Causes of back pain
  • Returning back to work
  • Manual handling laws and guidance
  • Principles of safer manual handling
  • Unsafe systems of work
  • Manual handling Risk Assessment
  • Demonstrations and practice
  • Practical Evaluations

 

With the objective being to always learn and improve manual handling techniques and move and handle loads safely in a practical environment.

One of the most under-estimated benefits from Manual Handling Training for employees is the promotion of a safer, healthier and happier workforce with a greater understanding of the roles and jobs they are to fulfil. It has been widely cited that a healthy workforce has benefits on productivity and Manual Handling Training promotes this by teaching good, efficient and safe practice within the workplace.

For further information on the importune of manual handling and any other health and safety issues, please contact us here.