04/05/2004

Preventing Manual Handling Injuries

Manual handling injuries can occur wherever people are at work - on farms and
building sites, in factories, offices, warehouses, hospitals, banks,
laboratories, and while making deliveries. Heavy manual labour, awkward
postures, manual materials handling, and previous or existing injury are all
risk factors implicated in the development of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
The British Health and Safety Commission (HSC) has recently published a revised
manual handling guidance helping employers and employees to take sensible steps
to reduce these injuries. The information has been thoroughly revised to take
account of improved knowledge of the risks from manual handling and how to
avoid them. But the essential messages about reducing risks remain the same.



Avoiding manual handling

Check whether you need to move it at all! For example:

  • does a large workpiece really need to be moved, or can the
    activity (eg wrapping or machining) safely be done where the item already is?
  • can you take the treatment to the patient, not vice versa?
  • can raw materials be piped to their point of use?

Consider automation, particularly for new processes! For example:

  • a conveyor;
  • a pallet truck;
  • an electric or hand-powered hoist;
  • a lift truck.


Think about mechanisation and using handling aids!

The guide gives detailed information on

  • Assessing and reducing the risk of injury,
  • Training, and
  • Good handling technique for pushing and pulling

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive (HSE)