The Dangers of Incorrect Manual Handling
Incorrect manual handling is hazardous. Injuries from incorrect manual handling or manual lifting can be avoided if you are properly trained.
Poor best practice can occur in almost every workplace. Those in construction, manufacturing, retail and agriculture are more prone to carrying heavy loads are most likely to experience it.
What is Manual Handling?
Manual Handling is seen as any task that occurs in which a person has to push, pull or lift an object, animal or person. An employer must make sure that their employees work within the correct limitations when conducting manual handling.
- The person lifting must recognise the potential hazards that may take place.
- They must evaluate the risks of harm or injury from possible hazards.
- Finally, they must regard what they must do to reduce them.
Common injuries from incorrect manual handling and manual lifting
The injuries that are most likely to arise are musculoskeletal disorders or (MSD’s). MSD’s covers a broad range of injuries to the upper or lower back. Any damage to the tissue and joints will fall under this category. You can get an MSD from carrying loads that are too heavy or carrying them in an awkward and untrained fashion. MSD’s can also come from manual handling after a recent injury or repetitive strain on a joint. Manual lifting injuries specifically refer to MSD’s that occur to the legs, arms and joints around those areas. Injuries from lifting are caused by repetitive strain.
How do I avoid manual handling injuries?
It is advised to avoid potentially dangerous manual handling as feasibly possible. The employer should review processes and change them to avoid or limit moving a load. Automating or using a machine for the process is also a possible solution.
If the task cannot be completed without manual handling, make sure you make a sufficient assessment of the risks surrounding the task. Otherwise, try and reduce the task as much as possible, so maybe implement the use of trolleys or hoists as an alternative.
For any lifting activity
Always take into account:
- Individual capability
- The nature of the load
- Environmental conditions
- Work organisation
If you need to lift something manually…
- Reduce the amount of twisting. As well as bending and reaching.
- Avoid lifting from floor level or above shoulder height, especially heavy loads.
- Adjust storage areas to minimise the need to carry out such movements.
- Consider how you can minimise carrying distances.
- Assess the weight to be carried and whether you can move it safely alone. Can you break the load down into smaller, lighter components?
If you need to use lifting equipment
- Consider whether you can use a lifting aid, such as a forklift truck, electric or hand-powered hoist, or a conveyor.
- Think about storage as part of the delivery process. Why not deliver items directly, or closer to the storage area?
- Reduce carrying distances where possible.
Why is dealing with manual handling important?
Manual handling injuries can have serious implications for the employer as well as the person who has been injured. They can occur almost anywhere in the workplace. Heavy manual labour, awkward postures can increase the risk. As well as repetitive movements of arms, legs and back. Even aggravating a previous/existing injury.
Available Training Courses
3B Training provides Manual Handling training nationwide. The trainer can also deliver the course at a venue of your choice if preferred.
The course is a three-hour session and will teach you how to develop your manual handling techniques. The course provides relevant information to understand the risks of incorrect manual handling. You can learn how to produce a risk assessment and how to make sure control measures are implemented.
To book onto a Manual Handling course or to view the upcoming course dates, click here.Back to News View Our Courses