Why is Manual Handling Such a Pain?

Everyone needs to know about manual handling. Whether you are lifting heavy furniture or packs of paper, it’s so easy to hurt your back. I should know. Two months ago, I bent down to pick a hair brush off the floor. I’m still suffering.


Why do I need manual handling training?back-pain

Quite apart from saving your employees a lot of pain, there are some very good business reasons why you should insist on them having manual handling training:

  • 9.5 million working days were lost in 2014/15, due to back, neck and muscle pain.
  • Poor manual handling is the main cause of back disorders.
  • Over 45s have the most injuries.
  • In the event of a claim, insurers will want to see evidence of manual handling training.

Finding training is easy. It is widely available on line or you can have someone come to your workplace. Whichever method you choose, always keep evidence of who has been trained. This may mean keeping a copy of a certificate or asking attendees to sign a register. It’s also worth keeping details of the training they received.


What should I think about before lifting?

When it comes to manual handling, some basic steps could prevent a serious injury:

lift-moving-male-crate-heavy-wood-box-lifting-24401Before you begin, assess the load.

What is the safest and easiest way of moving it?

Can you lift it safely?

Do you need help?

Can you use a lifting aid?

Can you make it easier to carry?

Are there any obstacles, steps, ramps and difficulties with lighting or weather conditions?

Use the correct lifting method.

If you have or develop any condition that may require you to avoid lifting, get someone else to do it.


Help at Hand

The Health & Safety Executive has developed some free tools to help you assess how to reduce the manual handling risks. If you have areas where people regularly lift, can you display posters as a reminder?

The likelihood is you will never be thanked for putting someone on a manual handling course. It’s all common sense when you look at it. I only wish I’d had more common sense when picking up that hairbrush.

Categories Health and Safety, Sickness, Uncategorized