What is Manual Handling?
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) 1992 define manual handling as:
“… any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing,
pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force.”
In effect, any activity that requires an individual to lift, move or support a load, will be classified as a manual handling task.
What are the risks associated with Manual Handling?
Any individual handling or moving goods and people are at risk of manual handling injuries. Any type of work can cause injury and physical suffering if it involves handling a load. Light loads can even pose a risk, if carried out repetitively and with poor lifting techniques. Additionally, poor workplace design, layout and ergonomics can be hazardous factors in manual handling.
According to the UK Labour Force Survey 2014, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for more than 40% of all work-related illnesses. This means an estimated 9.5 million lost working days per year. More than one third of all workplace injuries that require more than 3 days off work were related to musculoskeletal issues. Problems can be related to upper limb disorders – which includes back and neck pain, as well as repetitive strain injury – and lower limb disorders, from the hips to the feet. Risk factors can be found in virtually every workplace.
Risks can be found in all work sectors, but healthcare, agriculture and construction are recognised as high-risk industries due to the number and nature of the manual handling activities.
Are you taking the necessary steps to mitigate risks?
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations require employers to adopt a hierarchy of control measures:
- To avoid hazardous manual handling operations so far as is reasonably practicable.
- To assess any hazardous manual handling operation that cannot be avoided.
- To reduce the risk of injury so far as is reasonably practicable.
Any employee who is engaged in manual handling, should be aware of the following 5 principles before they perform any task:
TILEO – What does this stand for?
The manual handling TILEO acronym can be used to assess each manual handling activity within your own organisation.
The acronym ‘TILEO’ stands for TASK, INDIVIDUAL, LOAD, ENVIRONMENT and OTHER FACTORS and will help your organisation conduct dynamic risk assessments or on the spot assessments, by considering the individual’s capabilities, the nature of the load and the working environment in order to minimise risks.
Training your staff will ensure you protect your employees and reduce the number of injuries and lost working days within your organisation.
The EssentialSkillz Manual Handling eLearning course has been designed to explain the basics of manual handling to employees in low-risk working environments. The online course outlines what manual handling covers, how lifting, carrying and setting down can be done safely, and common injuries and musculoskeletal problems caused by bad technique.
The course also examines key duties related to manual handling, focusing on the different roles and responsibilities of the employer and their employees. It emphasises that each worker should: cooperate with their employer; not engage in behaviour that is likely to put colleagues in danger; understand and use mechanical aids correctly; report work activities that might be dangerous; and bring any defects in the workplace, systems or equipment to notice. Each individual is also obliged to share with their employer any physical limitations that might impact their ability to carry out manual handling tasks.
All the EssentialSkillz eLearning courses can be tailored to meet the needs of your organisation, so that they reflect your specific policies and procedures and not just generic ones. A designated course administrator can edit the text and images within the course using the integrated authoring tool and link to organisation-specific documentation, all at no extra cost.
If you have less than 100 employees and require eLearning on a PAYG basis, why not use www.courses123.com to download the training you require to train your employees on manual handling.