In a recent report the HSE claimed that each year more than a third of the three day injuries reported to local authorities in the workplace are caused by manual handling and that on average, the workers who suffered took 20 days off work within the 12 month period.
As manual handling can occur in most industries it’s important that as an employer you assess and predict any potential incidents and work to reduce the risk. This should be checked on a regular basis to ensure staffs are aware of dangers not just with equipment but also through their own actions whilst on company grounds.
Workplaces that require lifting of any kind should ensure that loads are below 25 kg without a lifting aid, and that staff have practiced safe lifting.
For example when carrying goods you should ensure;
- You keep your back straight and head-up
- Lift heavy loads away from the body
- You don’t walk downstairs if the object is restricting the view below
- Are aware of any uneven surfaces, loose carpets or obstructions on route before manoeuvring
- You’re not twisting and reaching
- Aren’t doing strenuous pushing or pulling
- Aren’t repetitively handling heavy loads
- Are getting sufficient recovery time
- Loads aren’t heavy or bulky, difficult to hold onto or unstable
- Stacking is easy to reach and hold
- Vision is clear
- Loads aren’t blocking any fire exits
- You have lifting aids available
- Loads can be lifted from hip height
- Loads have easy handling or grips
- The person carrying is physically fit to do so.
It’s important that you are communicating this to staff and that they are able to talk to someone if they have any concerns. Maintaining positive manual handling in business will help to reduce risk of serious injury and the rise of insurance costs. If employees are not cared for efficiently it can cost a business the loss of its reputation, sick pay and cost of prosecution.
Lifting equipment that maybe used for smaller scale lifting includes;
- pallet trucks
Lifting equipment LTD have a range of lifting equipment online at http://www.liftingequipmentdirectuk.co.uk/
All safety checks and assessments should always be kept on record.
If you are an employee always make sure you use the lifting equipment available to you, Lifting aids can avoid injury, prevent pain to yourself and loss of earning to your family. A serious injury at work could affect your future job prospects, sleep, social activities. Injuries causing back pain and sciatica may reoccur throughout your life.