Manual handling is a vital part of your everyday life at work. But do you know the fundamentals and key principles of manual handling? Having full awareness of the basics could be the difference between staying safe and suffering an injury. Here, we will take a closer look at manual handling, and how Safety Aide can help you.
Are You Fully Trained?
If you have been working in a role that requires manual handling, you should have already received the appropriate training. This isn’t something that can be decided on a company-by-company basis, as this is compulsory under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. All employees must be fully trained and competent in manual handling – and this is true even in most office environments where it would only occur occasionally.
Training Shouldn’t Be Overlooked
Sometimes training gets put off and not taken seriously, but it has been estimated that a third of all accidents are down to manual handling not being carried out correctly. With approximately 500,000 people in the UK becoming injured due to improper manual handling training every year, this is no small matter.
How Often Should Manual Handling Training Be Carried Out?
Manual handling should be carried out at least every two years. There are some roles that need extra training in manual handling, as well as regular refreshers in the best practices. For example, delivery drivers, heavy manual labourers and construction workers are especially at risk of injury due to daily manual handling. However, there are other roles that require high-quality training such as warehouse and factory staff.
Techniques You Need
When it comes to manual handling, you need to have the right technique to limit the risk of injury. You should ensure that you’re adopting the following principles:
- Thinking and planning every step before you start will put you in a good position, whether that’s knowing where the load will be placed or whether you’ll need assistance. Having suitable handling aids and removing obstructions will also help.
- Keep the load close to your waist for as long as possible while lifting. If you can’t get close to the load, then try to slide it towards your body before you try to lift.
- Have your feet apart with one leg in front of the other, or alongside if the load is on the ground to maintain stability. Also, be prepared to move your feet as you lift so that your posture can be stable.
- Hug the load as close to your body as possible if it’s a better option than gripping it tightly with your hands.
- Having a slight bend of your back, hips and knees is the preferred method at the start of the lift but be careful not to flex your back any further as your legs start to straighten.
- Keep your shoulders level and facing the same direction as your hips, and when turning be sure to move your feet rather than twisting and lifting at the same time.
- Make smooth movements whilst keeping your head up and looking ahead before you eventually put the load down. If it needs to be in an exact place, then put it down and then adjust it into position.
How Safety Aide Can Help
Do you want to know more about the principles of manual handling and understand best practices to keep yourself and others safe at work? Safety Aide can provide the training that you need so that you can comprehensively identify any risks, understand how to conduct risk assessments, and how they can be reduced and controlled. We can also train in manual handling techniques. Start with a manual handling free online course trial and then get in touch to see how we can help you further, discovering how much does a manual handling course cost and more. Get in touch today if you’d like to find out more.
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