March 6, 2017
Manual handling is a common cause of injury within workplaces, and as an employer it is your responsibility to decrease any potential risk to your employees.
Manual handling includes any activity where force is required to push, pull, lift, lower, carry or otherwise move a load. When people incorrectly engage in manual handling, they put themselves at risk of lower back pain, neck pain, problems with shoulders and arms, including forearms, elbows, wrists, hands and fingers. These problems can result from repeatedly lifting a heavy or unbalanced load, or can occur as a once off.
As an employer, you have a duty to reduce manual handling wherever possible, or at least lower the risks associated. Introducing mechanical aids or making small changes to work processes or procedures can go a long way to minimising the risks. Training, whether in manual handling techniques, or in the correct use of mechanical aids is another important step.
Follow these steps to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries in your workplace.
Step 1: Plan and check for dangers to yourself or others. Is the destination of the load clear, free from obstruction and within reason?
Step 2: Check your balance and position. Is the load stable, within your weight limits and easy to grip?
Step 3: When lifting items use your legs. Do not jerk when lifting, keep the movement smooth and take a rest if needed.
Step 4: When moving your load, move from your feet. Do not twist and keep the heaviest part of the load against your body.
Step 5: Ensure that others can see you. If required, wear your personal protective equipment (PPE).
To assist you and your workplace, Employsure has created an informative manual handling poster. Download it and display it around your workplace to assist in mitigating your employees risk of injury.
If you are uncertain of your obligations when it comes to manual handling, or any other health and safety requirements in your workplace, call Employsure on 1300 651 415. Our professional Advisers can answer any questions you may have.
Click here to download Employsure’s Manual handling poster.
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