Lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling heavy loads while at work poses serious risks to workers and can lead to problems such as:
- back injuries
- occupational overuse syndrome
- injuries as a result of falls or slips
- acute injuries such as sprains or strains.
Preventing manual handling injuries
Employers can prevent injuries associated with manual handling by identifying and eliminating risks so far as is reasonably practicable. If you are unable to completely eliminate the risks, then you must consider effective ways to minimise them – for example:
- Redesign the workplace to reduce risks e.g. Position shelving at accessible heights.
- Provide training to employees to ensure they are aware of the correct techniques for manual handling jobs.
- Provide appropriate equipment and machinery for heavy loads.
- Rotate jobs to ensure workers are not carrying out repetitive work for long periods of time.
Workers are also responsible for their own health and safety. They should attend training sessions and familiarise themselves with safe manual handling methods, such as lifting with legs and not the back. Workers can also help reduce risks by notifying the employer of unsafe tasks or processes which need improving.
If you need assistance with managing manual handling risks in your workplace then contact the team at Working Wise! We can provide training sessions or help you develop work practices to protect your workers from manual handling injuries.