The importance of proper manual handling
Posted on 24th Apr, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham
Improper manual handling is a huge cause of injury and work absence in the UK.
In 2013/14 an estimated 909,000 working days were lost due to handling injuries and improper manual handling caused a massive 24% of injuries in the workplace.
From lifting to carrying, pushing or pulling loads, to strains and sprains and cuts from equipment; manual handling risks are everywhere.
Maintaining awareness of the risks and acting accordingly is key to preventing unnecessary injury and ensuring wellbeing in the workplace.
Potential injuries from poor manual handling
Data from RIDDOR reports by HSE show that a number of injuries can result from improper manual handing:
The most common injuries are back injuries, making up 44% of those reported
28.6% of injuries reported were to the upper limbs – shoulders, arms, wrists and hands
Repetitive strain injury is another major concern, along with back strain
These accidents can result in long-term musculoskeletal disorders – which are the second most common cause of occupational ill health in Great Britain.
These disorders can affect the muscles, joints, tendons and other parts of the musculoskeletal system.
Your employer’s duties
According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the employer has a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees.
It is their responsibility to make suitable and sufficient assessments of the risks to their employees and make arrangements for the health and safety of employees through effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and control.
Ideally, manual handling should be avoided – but if this isn’t practical your employer should ensure that all risks of injury are reduced and proper training is given to those involved in manual handling.
Should an accident happen in the workplace it should be reported in an accident book – no matter how minor the strain.
Where a workplace accident is serious, or results in absence for seven or more days, employers must also notify their enforcing authority.
If your employer fails to carry out these duties, and an injury at work is sustained as a result of a manual handling accident, then it is possible for an employee to make an injury at work compensation claim.
Refresh your manual handling knowledge
If you’ve yet to receive proper Manual Handling training, or you or your employers are due an update, why not book onto our Manual Handling course?
Based on The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, our course looks at:
- Lifting and carrying safety – including in special situations
- Techniques to avoid injury and strain
- Manual handling risk assessments
- How to recognise and avoid potential problems
- Responsibilities of employers and employees
At the end of the course you’ll receive a certificate of training in safe manual handling.
This will last for three years – at which point we recommend you complete the course again to refresh your knowledge and correct any bad habits!
To find out more about the course, or to book on to one of our sessions, chat to us online today, or call us on 01282 615 517