What can be done to help prevent manual handling injuries?


Answer: In simple terms, the main thing is a risk assessment, though there are other considerations: Firstly, does the load need to be moved at all?

If so, can it be moved mechanically? For example by using a handling aid, such as a pallet truck, an electric or hand-powered hoist, or a conveyor? Advice on the many different types of lifting and handling aids is contained in Making the best use of lifting and handling aids.


If manual lifting is the only option then there are a number of things that can be done to reduce the risk of a workplace injury in Ashton In Makerfield,Wigan or Pemberton ie:

making the load smaller or lighter and easier to lift,

breaking up large consignments into more manageable loads,

modifying the workstation to reduce carrying distances, twisting movements, or the lifting of things from floor level or from above shoulder height,

improving the environment – e g better lighting, flooring or air temperature can sometimes make manual handling easier and safer,

ensuring the person doing the lifting has been trained to lift as safely as possible to avoid an injury at work.


Are there any recommended weight limits for manual lifting?


Answer: The law does not identify a maximum weight limit. It places duties on employers to manage or control risk; measures to take to meet this duty will vary depending on the circumstances of the task. Things to be considered will include the individual carrying out the handling operation, e g strength, fitness, underlying medical conditions, the weight to be lifted and distance to be carried, the nature of the load or the postures to be adopted or the availability of equipment to facilitate the lift.


There is no universally safe maximum weight for any load, however, there are varying degrees of risk. The guidance on the Manual Handling Operations Regulations gives basic guideline figures for lifting and lowering which indicate when a more detailed risk assessment should be carried out to cut down on the chances of an injury at work through lifting.


What should a manual handling training course involve?


Answer: Although training can be important in raising awareness and reducing risk, it should not be assumed that training alone will ensure safe manual handling. It should be supplemented with monitoring and reviews of procedures to ensure that the training is understood and being applied. Reporting problems such as unsafe working conditions or accidents need to be reinforced by good supervision.

Training should cover:

manual handling risk factors and how injuries can occur;

how to carry out safe manual handling including good handling technique

appropriate systems of work for the individual’s tasks and environment;

use of mechanical aids;

practical work to allow the trainer to identify and put right anything the trainee is not doing safely.


What is the correct lifting technique?


Answer: There is no single correct way to lift. The technique for lifting will depend on many things, such as the weight and size of the item. For example, it would be easier to pick up something that is boxed and has handholds than something awkwardly shaped or where the weight is unevenly distributed. The content of any training in good handling technique should be tailored to the particular situation or individual circumstances under which the manual handling takes place. However, HSE has published guidance which contains illustrations of good handling practice.

Ask your Solicitor Mark Johnson or Ken Fairclough for advice on lifting injury claims by calling 01942-665700.


Is there such a thing as a ‘no lifting’ policy?


Answer: The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 do not prohibit individual types of manual handling or endorse ‘no lifting’ policies. However, manual handling should be limited to those times when it cannot be avoided and only where the risk has been assessed and minimised. Employers cannot simply pass on the risk to employees and a balanced approach to risk is advocated to ensure that workers are not required to perform tasks that put them at unreasonable risk.


Are there any tools that will help me make a risk assessment?


Answer: HSE has produced a series of tools that assess some of the risks involved in manual handling. These include the MAC tool for most manual handling tasks, the ART tool for assessing repetitive movements and the RAPP tool for pushing and pulling operations.


If you have suffered a loss of income due to the fault of your employer and have been injured call Accident solicitors Faircloughs in Wigan Pemberton Golborne on 01942-665700 or fill out a contact form on this website:Do not suffer in silence you do not go to work to be injured.


HSE 2019

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