Manual Handling Training
This training has been designed to provide information to help you understand the problems associated with the manual handling of loads and the best approaches for dealing with them.
At the end of this lesson you’ll need to complete an exam to pass this course.
What Is Manual Handling?
Manual handling refers to any activity which requires a person or persons to transport or support a load by hand or bodily force.
Manual Handling Operational Movements include;
- Lifting & Lowering
- Pulling & Pushing
- Carrying, or;
- Moving a load by other bodily means
What Are The Problems Caused By Manually Handling Loads?
- More than a third of injuries reported each year are caused by manual handling accidents
- Most of them cause back pain, although hands, arms and feet are also affected causing muscular-skeletal disorders
- Many manual handling injuries build up over a period rather than caused by a single handling incident
- Manual handling injuries can occur wherever people work
How Can Manual Handling Injuries Be Prevented?
- Assessing the condition, weight, and stability of the load prior to moving it
- Lifting heavy loads with colleagues
- Using mechanical or other means to move the load
- Reducing the distance that the load is to be carried
- Ensuring the route is clear and well lit
- Lifting with a straight back and by using the led muscles
- Holding the load tight against the body
- Not carrying the load in a bent over or stooped position
- Reducing the amount of twisting
- Supporting the load with the shoulder
- Using your personal protective equipment (PPE) and any other equipment provided
- Varying activities in order to rest the muscles
- Adopt the correct seating position
What Can Cause A Manual Handling Injury?
- The weight of the load being heavier than the individual’s capacity to carry it
- Holding or manipulating a load at a distance from the body’s trunk
- Unsatisfactory body pressure or movement especially twisting, stooping or reaching upwards
- Excessive movement of loads
- Large lifting or lowering distances
- Strenuous pulling or pushing
- Unpredictable movement of loads shifting of weight
- Repetitive handling
- Insufficient rest of recovery periods
- Poor seating arrangements
- When the job is not varied enough
Good Handling Technique 1
STOP & THINK!
- Plan the lift of the load
- Where is the load to be placed
- Use appropriate handling aids
- Do you need help with the load
- Remove obstacles
Good Handling Technique 2
POSITION YOUR FEET
- Feet apart, giving balance and a stable base for lifting (tight skirts/unsuitable footwear may make this difficult)
- Leading left forward as is comfortable and if possible, pointing in the direction you intend to go
Good Handling Technique 3
ADOPT A GOOD POSTURE
- When lifting from a low-level, bend the knees but not your back
- Keep the back straight and maintain its natural colour. (tucking in the chain helps).
- Lean forward a little over the load if necessary, to get a good grip
- Keep the shoulders level and facing in the same direction as the hips
Good Handling Technique 4
GET A FIRM GRIP
- Try to keep the arms within the boundary formed by the legs
- The best position and type of group depends upon circumstances and individual preference.
- A hook grip is less tiring than straight fingers
- If you need to Cary the grip as the lift proceeds, do it as smoothly as possible
Good Handling Technique 5
KEEP CLOSE TO THE LOAD
- Keep the load close to the trunk for as long as possible
- Keep heaviest side of the load next to the trunk
- If a close approach to the load is not possible, slide it towards you before trying to lift
Good Handling Technique 6
DON’T JERK – Lift smoothly, raising the chin as the lift begins, keeping control of the load
Good Handling Technique 7
MOVE FEET – Don’t twist the trunk when turning to the side.
Good Handling Technique 8
PUT DOWN, THEN ADJUST – If precise positioning of the load is necessary, put it down first, then slide it into the desired position
What Should Your Team Leader / Managers Do?
- Plan a manual handling task when necessary
- Eliminate or take steps to minimise the risk of personal injury or ill health by assessing the risks (in particular were pregnant women revolt).
- provide mechanical aids for improving safety when appropriate.
- provide you with personal protective equipment (PPE) or other equipment as necessary.
- ensure that anyone who is involved with manual handling task is properly trained and supervised.
What Should You Do To Protect Yourself/Others Against Manual Handling Injuries?
- work safely whilst dealing with manual handling operations.
- follow a plan of work when provided.
- make a full and proper use of equipment provided.
- stop work inform your Team Leader/Managers with any problems or changes in your health which may be attributable to, or affected by manual handling operations.
- stop working from your Team Leader/Managers of any manual handling hazards/risks or defective mechanical aids within your workspace.