Many jobs involve some level of manual handling. Manual handling includes any form of lifting or moving regardless of the weight or size of the object.
- Stacking shelves
- Carrying files in the office
- Unloading a delivery
- Moving stock
- Pushing a trolley
- Carrying building materials
- Use of a sledgehammer
These are just some examples of the types of tasks which would be considered manual handling.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 set no specific requirements such as weight when assessing the risks posed by manual handling. It is often the size of the object or the shape of the object or even the repetitive nature of the lifting that makes the task dangerous.
An Employer's Responsibilities & Duties
Your employer must:
- where possible try to avoid hazardous manual handling either by changing working practices or by using machines to carry out the task ;
- always carry out a detailed risk assessment of any manual handling task;
- where real risks are identified try to limit that risk by providing training, where appropriate additional assistance and where possible mechanical aids,i.e trolley / hoist;
- always try to match the employee to the task.
My job involves a lot of lifting but I haven't had any training?
This is a common complaint and your employer must provide Manual Handling training at the outset of your employment.
This type of training is one of the best ways to avoid lifting injuries. It help you, the employee, to carry out your own risk assessment and not only helps you to understand the best ways to lift items but also gives advice on how to recognise potential risk posed by certain items and tasks.
This type of training can help you to ;
- identify unusually shaped objects which make lifting more dangerous;
- estimate the weight of objects where they are not labelled;
- estimate the density of contents I.e in a barrel or container ;
- using methods such as "rocking" to gauge the weight of objects before lifting ;
- understand when assistance is needed.
If you have been injured following lifting / carrying at work and you haven't had manual handling training contact Graham Coffey & Co Lifting Injury specialists today for a free consultation.
I have a long standing back problem and I made it worse when my employer asked me to help unload a delivery.
This is a common complaint received by Graham Coffey & Co's Lifting Injury Solicitors.
Assessing the suitability of a task when selecting an employee is an important part of the risk assessment process.
Your employee must consider your physical abilities before asking you to carry out a task.
Even though you are aware of your existing condition you may feel pressured into carrying out the instruction even where you know this will result in an injury.