A common cause of injury in many types of business is manual handling. Sometimes these injuries lead to permanent disability and expensive compensation claims. You can reduce disruption to your business by reviewing the tasks your employees do manually and working out how to best avoid injuries.
Manual handling includes pushing, pulling, or other bodily force to lift and carry loads. The most common types of injury are lower back pains, neck pain and problems with shoulders and arms, including forearm, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. These symptoms can result from lifting a heavy or unbalanced load only once, or from continually lifting a heavy or unbalanced load.
The weight of the load is critical but also important is the frequency of lifting, posture while lifting, the surrounding environment and the employee’s physical fitness. When you assess any manual handling, always consider the task, individual, load, and environment.
You have a duty to reduce manual handling wherever possible or lower the risks of manual handling as much as possible. Introducing mechanical aids or making small changes to work processes or procedures can go a long way to minimising risks. Training, whether in manual handling techniques for the loads carried or in mechanical handling aids, is another positive step. Always follow the operating instructions and limitations set by the manufacturer.
Employsure can advise you on best practice in manual handling. For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 651 415.