causes by manual handling account for 37% of all reported accidents; most
commonly these are sprains or strains particularly of the back. Sprains and
strains arise from the incorrect application and/or prolonged use of bodily
force. Poor posture and excessive movement are important contributory factors.
Many manual handling injuries are cumulative rather than attributed to one
single injury. A full recovery is not always made; the result can be physical
impairment or even permanent disability.
Handling Operations Regulations 1992 require the University to assess manual
handling operations undertaken by its employees. Heavy, difficult and
repetitive loads require a written assessment to be completed. Appropriate
steps must be taken to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level
practicable. Contact M Grapes if you consider an assessment is required.
following points must be considered when making the assessment:
tasks: do they
involve holding the load away from the body, twisting, stooping or
reaching upwards, excessive movement or insufficient rest breaks?
they heavy, bulky, unwieldy, difficult to grasp, unstable, hot or cold?
working environment: are there space constraints, uneven or slippery floors, variation
in level, extremes of temperature, poor lighting?
unusual strength, height etc;
a hazard to those who are pregnant or have a health problem;
information or training?
the movement or posture hindered by clothing or personal protective
basic tips to prevent accidents:
the object to be moved. Determine its weight and look for sharp edges. Is
the weight evenly distributed?
- Plan the
job. Check the route is free of obstacles and slipping or tripping
- Get help.
If you have any doubt about carrying the object then get help. Check that
you have suitable tools to help or lifting aids if necessary.
- Get a
good grip. Decide in advance how best to hold the object.
your hands and feet.
- Lift with
twisting, move your feet instead.
- Hold the
load close to the centre of your body.
lifts above your shoulders or below your knees.
becoming over-tired. Frequent lifting or lowering is demanding work and
can result in cumulative stress.
lifting in a team, work with someone of similar build and height if