27th September 2022
- A thousand inspections in October and November
- Serious aches, pains and strains can affect every part of someone’s life
This announcement is for the construction industry, but with our knowledge we know that if an inspector turns up at your site perhaps due to a RIDDOR report this will be at the top of their agenda as well.
Lifting and moving heavy objects is harming the health of thousands of workers to such a degree every aspect of their lives is affected.
Experts at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are warning workers are picking up injuries and conditions that can stop them working and leave them struggling to stand, walk, or sit down.
HSE inspectors will be carrying out 1,000 inspections in October and November checking how workers are moving heavy or bulky materials.
The law requires employers to prevent the ill health of their workers, which includes injuries to muscles, bones, joints and nerves that can develop over time, known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). However, recent figures show around 40,000 people in the construction industry suffer an MSD each year, which can cause years of agonising aches and pains.
Moving and handling risks should be considered and prevented where possible. Employers should talk to workers about controlling existing risks to make sure that the right training, aids and equipment are there to prevent injuries.
If moving and lifting is managed properly, a physical job should not result in aches, pains and strains which affect every part of workers’ lives.
Matt Birtles, principal ergonomist at HSE, said: “Serious aches, pains and strains can affect every part of someone’s life. They can struggle to get themselves dressed and undressed, they can be unable to pick up their children or grandchildren.
“They can struggle to sit down and stand up, they can struggle to keep still and move around. The most intimate parts of their lives can be severely affected – they might be desperate to go the toilet but find themselves unable.
“It’s not something that many people feel comfortable talking about, but if your back has gone or if you’re in agony whenever you move your arms, measures need to be put in place to address the causes.”
HSE’s head of construction, Sarah Jardine said: “Inspectors are visiting a range of construction sites to check the action businesses are taking to ensure their workers are being protected.
“Everyone involved has a role to play in keeping people safe. Risks must be managed where they can’t be prevented, and risk management arrangements must be reviewed frequently to ensure they are effective.
“We want everyone to be aware of the risks associated with any moving or lifting task and put appropriate measures in place.
“This is a significant health issue for tens of thousands of construction workers and can lead to a lifetime of terrible aches and pains. The health of workers must be considered so that they can carry out their jobs without fear of injuring themselves, including being provided with the correct equipment to lift safely.
“Thankfully there are measures that can be taken to prevent injuries to muscles, bones, joints and nerves. Doing so is good for workers and good for industry. It’s good for business.”
Please make sure you are prepared in the event of a HSE visit, make sure your staff have read your Manual Handling policy and completed their Manual Handling Training
If you require any further information on these please call Safety Aide on 08000 806801