Manual handling training is one of the most common forms of health and safety training in the workplace. It is basic yet essential health and safety which everyone needs to be aware of and trained appropriately. Some may argue that as an employee their role in the workplace does not include lifting heavy objects or people, this is fair comment however it’s not just about lifting heavy objects or people, it’s about technique and manual handling risk assessment i.e. if the object is not heavy but is large and difficult to manoeuvre it may require more than one person to lift the object in order to reduce risk of injury. There are numerous factors to take into account when manual handling including distance – how far does the object need carrying, does the object contain liquid or powder, are there any objects in the way which you or your colleague may trip over if it’s not moved out of the way prior to lifting.
Believe it or not, it is possible to injure yourself, especially your back, by lifting a pen or piece of paper off the floor, or by sitting in the wrong position, then moving to carry out a small lifting task. Although these types of injury may be unlikely, the employer needs to take precautions to ensure that employees are aware of the risks associated with manual handling and lifting objects and people at work.