Your Safety Guide to Manual Handling
Incorrect manual handling is a common cause of many work related injuries every year in the UK. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s) such as neck and upper limb disorders, lower limb disorders, back pain and back injuries are associated with manual handling. These can be brought on by repetitive bending, twisting, heavy lifting and repeating an action too frequently. Employees working in warehousing industries that have not had the correct information, advice and equipment provided to them are at risk of suffering from an MSD. While storage and warehousing environments can be dangerous places to work, there are simple precautions and solutions to the risks associated with manual handling.
First and foremost, it is important to avoid the need for hazardous manual handling. However, where manual handling procedures are unavoidable, employers and employees must consider the following:
It is important to practise safe manual handling and carry out a thorough risk assessment on the task involved with the employee to identify and avoid any potential hazards and decide whether help will be needed with the load.
Ensure the full, relevant training is given to the employee and that they clearly understand the instructions provided.
Suitable manual handling equipment is vital and should be provided to the employee to ensure they have everything they need to complete the task as safely as possible.
Lifting equipment, such as hoists or pallet and fork lift trucks, should be inspected regularly and have the appropriate records to maintain a good working order.
When handling a heavy load, the employee must take these simple precautions:
- Consider how you might be able to minimise the carrying distance.
- Clear the storage area prior to lifting the load.
- Where loads are heavy, avoid lifting from floor level or above shoulder height.
- Make sure your feet are apart for a stable position.
- When carrying, try to reduce the amount of reaching and twisting.
- Keep the load close to the waist with the heaviest side of the load closest to your body.
Taking these simple precautions reduces the risk of any accidents occurring which could lead to serious injury for you and your employees. Following advice from The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, which applies to work which involves lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying, can reduce the risk of injury caused by manual handling.
Safety signs and labels are vital safety measures to have in hazardous working areas. Manual Handling Warning Labels can help prevent lifting injuries. Our highly visible labels are available with a range of different text suitable to manual handling.