On this page we inform our readers about the basics of manual handling. For those who are experienced in health and safety you will already be aware that there are numerous elements to the subject including risk assessment, equipment, training and not to forget that manual handling of people / people handling is a very different ball-game.
Manual Handling of Objects
This covers a wide variety of tasks including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying. When any of these tasks are not carried out properly, there is a risk of injury. As employers we are all responsible for putting preventative measures in place to help protect our employees from gaining injuries as a result of manual handling. More than one third of all reported injuries which result in someone being off work for more than three days are caused by manual handling. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended 2002) require employers to conduct a risk assessment of manual handling activities that they undertake and to provide appropriate training for their employees.
Many of us know someone at work or in our personal lives who have injured themselves whilst lifting objects such as desks, PC monitors/VDU's and televisions. Some objects are heavy and some are simply large and difficult to handle. Simple safe and effective steps should be taken when handling objects such as bending your legs whilst keeping your back straight or if an object such as a desk is difficult to handle by yourself then ask a colleague to assist. Manual handling is largely based on common sense again like many other health and safety subjects.
It is wise to train all employees on manual handling as at some point everyone lifts an object at work. If an employee lifts an object and subsequently strains his or her back as a result and you have not put preventative measures in place i.e. the individual hasn't been trained in safe manual handling techniques.. then the responsibility may sit with you the employer. It's not about 'blaim' or who is responsible after an injury occurs, it's about 'safety' for your workers. If you expect your employees to lift, push, carry or perform such manual tasks then you need to equip your workers with the correct knowledge of how to to it safely.
Here at Envico our employees perform very few manual handling tasks and if they do it tends to be VDU's or desks within our offices, however this still constitutes lifting and handling, therefore each of our employees firstly attend a Safe Manual Handling course (only 50 minutes in duration and cost of £25.00 + VAT) and secondly an eLearning Manual Handling Risk Assessment online training course (only 10 minutes in duration and cost of £10.00 + VAT). It's not difficult to do the maths.. for a total cost of £35.00 + VAT and 60 minutes per person you can train your staff to assess risk in their own working environment and train them to lift and handle objects safely and effectively in the workplace. By doing this you are doing what is reasonably practicable to ensure the safety of your workers when manual handling.
Many UK organizations outsource their manual handling risk assessment and training requirements for reasons such as convenience and time conservation. Some organizations have very specific manual handling requirements and require something a little more specialized or bespoke, which may require the advice of a health and safety consultant who can assess and advise you or your organization on the best solution. In these circumstances a simple online or elearning course is not going to fit the bill and as a result we are able to offer a quote service as detailed below.
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