Manual handling refers to workers carrying and moving loads by lifting, pulling, pushing or any other method that involves using their bodies and physical strength.
Understanding manual handling in the workplace is very important when it comes to implementing a manual handling policy and reducing the risk of injury.
Types of Jobs That Require Manual Handling
There are many jobs that require manual handling, and these extend far beyond the construction industry. A bookshop assistant that needs to carry loads of books, and stack shelves, take part in manual handling at work.
Manual handling includes:
- Pushing trolleys
- Stacking shelves
- Lifting heavy loads
- Operating machinery
- Washing dishes
Manual handling is far more common than you think, as most people just associate manual handling with the construction industry.
The Risk Of Injury
Injuries are very common when it comes to manual handling, especially in situations where the worker is new to this type of work and is carrying unbalanced loads using incorrect manual handling methods. Back, neck and MSD injuries are usually the most common, but other common injuries include:
- Chronic pain
- Acute pain
- Soft tissue injuries
- Carpal tunnel
Over time these injuries can result in permanent damage, and employers will most likely have to deal with compensation claims, which can help the worker gain access to guidance and finance to help them recover. Compensation is paid out by the insurer, and there will be thorough checks to ensure that safe manual handling procedures are in place in the workplace.
The Importance of a Manual Handling Policy
Having a firm manual handling policy in place will provide guidance when it comes to following manual handling procedures and navigating hazardous tasks. All in all, a manual handling policy outlines steps and procedures that will decrease your workers’ risk of injury, and maintain a safe working environment. It will give employees and employers alike a point of reference when it comes to anything related to manual handling.
At Builder Assist, we offer a range of manual handling policies, as well as Safe Work Method Statements, and job safety analysis. Download these templates to ensure a safe and structured working environment.