Often, safety issues can end up taking precedence over health issues, but it is imperative that action is taken to ensure both the health and safety of employees – so make sure you identify today where your health risks may lie.
- Do a risk assessment to identify how workers could be affected by manual handling activities, in relation to musculoskeletal disorders (where injury or damage could be caused to the tissue or joints within the back or limbs). Consider whether workers actually need to move loads in the first place, and whether mechanical aids could be used instead.
- Consider the most appropriate aid that could be used, such as a pallet truck, trolley or a conveyor. Ensure that aids are inspected and maintained properly.
- If workers need to move loads by hand, make sure that the loads are as small and light as possible. Reduce the distance that loads need to be carried, and limit awkward movements such as stooping or twisting. Ensure good lighting is available and that routes are kept free from obstructions.
- Give workers effective training – tell them what the risk factors are and how injuries could occur within their tasks. Show them how to use mechanical aids properly and how to lift correctly. Ensure training is tailored to the task.
- Where possible, label loads so that workers can see how heavy items actually are before lifting them. Get them to test loads before moving them to check that they are confident in their ability to move them.
Contact us for advice.