Toolbox Talk: Manual Handling


Toolbox Talk: Manual Handling

Why have this talk? Manual handling causes more than one third of all workplace injuries and features in almost everyone’s job in almost every sector.

What will this talk cover? The considerations and good techniques used to avoid injury when manual handling.

What to think about when faced with manual handling
  • Where possible, use mechanical handling methods instead, eg forklifts or pallet trucks.
  • Where possible, establish the weight of the load before lifting.
  • Only tackle jobs you can handle. Consider if you should ask for assistance.
  • Carry out a trial lift by rocking the load from side to side, and then try lifting it a small amount to get a “feel” for it.
  • If moving the load somewhere, make sure you have a clear path with good lighting.
  • Wear appropriate PPE such as gloves to protect against cuts and puncture wounds, and appropriate footwear to protect against falling loads.
Good handling technique
  • Stand reasonably close to the load, keeping feet hip-width apart, one foot slightly forward pointing in the direction you intend to travel.
  • Bend your knees and keep your back straight.
  • Get a secure grip on the load.
  • Breathe in before lifting as this helps to support the spine.
  • Use a good lifting technique, keep your back straight and lift using your legs.
  • Keep the load close to your body.
  • Do not carry a load that obscures your vision.
  • Lift slowly and smoothly.
  • Avoid jerky movements.
  • Avoid twisting your body when lifting or carrying a load.
  • When lifting to a height from the floor, do it in two stages.
  • When two or more people lift, one person must take control to co-ordinate the lift.
Questions for employees
  • What should be your first consideration before carrying out any manual handling?
  • What checks should you carry out before lifting?
  • Is PPE necessary for the tasks you do and why?
  • How would you lift an object safely?
  • What should happen if there are two or people involved in a lift?

Do you have any questions for me?

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