5 types of equipment to help prevent manual handling injuries
Posted on 8th Mar, 2022 | By Lorretta Tatham
Manual handling is one of the single most universal risks of any sector or industry. Statistics released by the HSE in 2018/19 revealed that 581,000 workers sustained a non-fatal injury at work, according to self-reports from the Labour Force Survey, with 20% of those being caused by handling, lifting or carrying. However, these kind of reports always tend to involve conservative estimates as they rely on self reporting, so it’s likely that the actual figures are much higher!
Here at Browns Safety, we’re all too familiar with the consequences that even relatively small manual handling accidents can have, which is exactly why we provide a range of manual handling training courses. Refreshing your knowledge on expert training courses is one of the single best ways to protect you and your staff from manual handling accidents. However, certain types of equipment can also help remove some of the worst risks from the job. Here are our top recommendations.
Scissor lift tables
A small piece of equipment with a large range of applications, scissor lift tables utilise a simple ‘scissor’ like support mechanism, which creates a solid support frame for heavy products. They’re customisable to suit any work environment, with a variety of sizes and bases available to deal with a multitude of weights and lift heights, whether they’re fixed or mobile. Scissor lift tables make a great addition to those who need to work at height, providing a handy companion to rest all your equipment/material on.
Mobile gantries are ideal for workshop environments with smooth surfaced floors. They’re easily manoeuvrable, even under extreme loads ranging from 500 – 5000kg (for reference, the average weight of a person is around 65kg). They come mounted on rotating wheels, and can be quickly assembled/disassembled at a moment’s notice, making them the perfect bit of kit to whizz around the workshop whenever required.
Lifting hoists and overhead cranes
Mainly used in warehouses and factories, overhead cranes consist of a structure of parallel beams with a bridge that travels through the gap, coupled with a hoist that you can move along the bridge.
These are ideal for those needing an extra bit of upward pull when lifting a load. These hoists can range from lighter manual products, all the way up to electrically powered hoists for more heavy duty jobs like working the line in a car factory.
Forklift trucks and pallet pumps
Finally, we come to the big guns. Specifically designed for those heavy duty jobs that you definitely can’t manage alone, forklift trucks are typically used in warehouses, factories, and on building sites (basically anywhere that requires serious heavy lifting). Forklift trucks are used to move pallets, concrete slabs, and all manner of heavy materials, and depending on the type of work you’re doing, there are a range of forklift trucks to choose from. It’s worth keeping in mind though that some require specific training before you’re allowed to operate them.
However if you’re looking for something a bit smaller and easier to operate, you may want to consider investing in a pallet truck. Constructed with warehouses and other flat surfaced workplaces in mind, a pallet truck is a mobile, manual lifting device that’s used to move – you guessed it – pallets. With tapered forks to support your load, pallet pumps can raise, move, and lower any material up to around 2500kg in weight. These are amongst the most common vehicles found in workplaces around the world, and they constitute a vital addition for those looking to transport heavy loads with minimal fuss.
Remember the basics
The crucial thing is that ultimately, no amount of equipment will help unless your staff keep the basics in mind. It’s important to get any new members trained up as soon as possible, and it’s also worth attending regular refresher courses just to make sure everyone stays well informed.
That’s where we can help here at Browns Safety. Our Manual Handling Training Course is specifically designed to help you and your staff re-familiarise yourselves with the dangers associated with lifting and handling, so you can cut down on the risk of accidents or injuries. Your safety is our priority, so if you’re looking to get started, you can book your places by clicking on the link above. Alternatively, just give our team a call on 01282 615517, and we’ll get you sorted!