Manual Handling. Procedure

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1 ` Manual Handling Procedure *All Forth Valley College Health, Safety and Welfare Procedures are covered under the overarching Health, Safety and Welfare Policy. Status: Date of version: Review Date: Reviewed by: Author/Contact Person; Overall responsibility for procedure: Responsibility for implementation: Responsibility for review: Approved May 2011 May 2014 H&S Operational Team Health and Safety Manager Director of Estates Development Health and Safety Manager Health and Safety Manager

2 Manual Handling Procedures Manual Handling is the movement or supporting of a load by hand or bodily force (human effort). Section 4 of The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 states that employers shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, avoid the need for their employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of them being injured; or where it is not reasonably practicable; to assess the tasks involving any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of them being injured. 1. Elimination of Hazardous Manual Handling Activities The College will ensure that operations, which involve manual handling, are eliminated, so far as is reasonably practicable. Measures to achieve this include ergonomic design of the workplace and activity and the provision of automated or mechanical aids such as pallet trucks. Where this is not reasonably practicable, the College shall assess the remaining risk and identify suitable control measures to ensure manual handling is reduced as far as reasonably practicable. This may include additional non mechanical aids, such as trolleys, training and information. 2. Assessment of Risk Where manual handling cannot be completely eliminated, competent persons shall carry out an assessment of manual handling activities. Risks that are identified will be eliminated or reduced to the lowest level reasonably practicable. Should the risk assessment highlight any recommendations to reduce the risk further, the appropriate Manager should be notified of this using the risk assessment template to record any such recommendations. Ref: Generic Manual Handling Risk Assessment Staff involved in the activity will be informed of all relevant information, training, instruction, supervision, personal protective equipment, etc, that may have been identified as the control measures of any such exercise. Risk assessments to be reviewed after a significant change or new systems. For high risk manual handling tasks out with those covered by the generic manual handling risk assessment GEN 00, the nominated competent persons within each Department/Service area shall undertake an additional specific manual handling risk assessment, with assistance form the Health and Safety Department, if required. Assessors using the specific Manual Handling Risk Assessment form must be trained and competent before the activity is carried out. There is guidance to be followed when carrying out the assessment; this is taken from the HSE guidance and can be found on sharepoint. or via the link: MAC Manual Handling Charts Manual Handling Procedure May of 7

3 3. The Task Bending, stooping, reaching, stretching and twisting to move a load significantly increases the risk of back injury, and can affect all other muscles in the body. Therefore it is College procedure that items should ideally be positioned and stored, no lower than knee height to no higher than shoulder height. Outside this range, lifting capacity is reduced and the risk of injury is increased. Where items are required to be manoeuvred from above shoulder height, suitable means of access must be used. Items that are pushed or pulled shall be as near to waist level as possible. Pushing is preferable, it will allow the person to see where they are going- and less chance of a load falling on them. Carrying distances should be minimised by individuals, especially if the task is regularly repeated. Repetitive tasks shall be avoided wherever possible. Tasks that involve lifting and carrying must be designed in such a way as to allow for sufficient rest breaks to avoid fatigue. 4. The Load The load should be kept as near as possible to the body trunk to reduce strain and shall not be of such size as to obscure vision. An indication of the weight of the load and the centre of gravity must be provided where appropriate. (This is particularly relevant to suppliers who must state the weight of packages) Unstable or larger loads shall be handled with particular care because any change in centre of gravity within it is likely to result in overbalancing. Individuals must ensure that there is a secure handhold, and use suitable gloves where necessary to protect against sharp edges or splinters. If no handhold or relevant gloves are available then the load shall not be handled until a suitable risk assessment has been carried out by a competent, authorised, trained person. Managers shall consider the loads that require to be lifted by staff and students. If other working practices can reasonably be adopted that eliminate the lifting of objects then these practices should be considered. If it is not possible to have loads delivered directly to where they are required, the College shall make use of relevant aids to avoid staff carrying out additional manual handling. This shall be through such measures as using trolleys, sack barrows, pallet trucks, cages or other devices. Suitable and sufficient training, instruction and information will be given to staff in how to operate any mechanical aids supplied in a correct and safe manner. The use of trolleys etc is still covered under the Manual Handling Operation Regulations and it is important to remember to avoid unnecessary distances travelled. Where the use of mechanical aids are not possible, staff and students are requested to either split or divide the load into smaller more manageable loads or ask a colleague to assist them to reduce the risk presented by manual handling. (However it should be noted that lifting in pairs or multiple person teams requires a risk assessment, training and co-ordination.) If any doubt exists about an individual s ability to lift a load safely, even when team lifting is employed, a relevant risk assessment shall be undertaken prior to the lift to ensure that it is safe to undertake this procedure. The assessment is to be carried out by a trained, competent person. Additional advice can be given by the Health and Safety Department. The HSE offer guidance on the recommended weight of a load for repetitive lifting, however, it is important to ensure that individuals take responsibility for their actions, and do not attempt to lift any load, of which they are incapable or unsure of. It may be possible to split the load into several lighter Manual Handling Procedure Procedure 3 of 7

4 loads. Maintaining reduced load weights on regularly handled objects, such as boxes, mail bags etc. reduces the likelihood of muscular skeletal problems that can result from repetitively handling heavy objects. If the risk assessment identifies a HIGH risk and recommended control measures cannot be safely implemented immediately then the task should not proceed. Only when the risk is controlled, should the task be undertaken. 5. The Individual Document Reference: Health and Safety Executive Consideration must be given to age, body weight and physical fitness. Regard must be given to personal limitation. Employees or students must not attempt to handle loads that are beyond their individual capability. Assistance must be sought where this is necessary. Persons with genuine physical or clinical reasons for avoiding lifting should be assessed, as should pregnant women, who should not be required to undertake lifting or carrying tasks if their individual risk assessment or Young Persons (Under 18) has highlighted any potential issue. Sufficient knowledge and understanding of the work is an important factor in reducing the risk of injury. Individuals undertaking lifting or carrying within the College shall be given suitable instruction, training and information to undertake the task with minimum risk. It is important that individuals know their own limitations. 6. The Working Environment Adequate space is required to enable the activity to be conducted in safety and the transportation route must be free from obstruction. Lighting, heating and weather conditions (for external tasks) shall be taken into account. Floors and other working surfaces must be in a safe condition to avoid trips and overturning loads. Adequate ventilation must be suitable wherever possible, especially if the task involves a degree of physical activity. It is important that an individual plans the route before commencing the task. Manual Handling Procedure Procedure 4 of 7

5 7. Other Factors Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be necessary whilst carrying out manual handling activities. If the use of PPE restricts safe and easy movement, report this to the Health and Safety Department. 8. Managers & staff must ensure that: The College risk assessment schedule is complied with and manual handling assessments are carried out where relevant and records are kept; Ref: Generic Manual Handling Risk Assessment, GEN 001, is applicable to all college tasks; adequate information and training is provided to persons carrying out manual handling activities; Staff and students, comply with the appropriate safety advice and safe systems of work; any injuries or incidents relating to manual handling are reported to the Health and Safety Department; special arrangements are made, where necessary, for individuals with health conditions that could be adversely affected by manual handling operations. Staff who experience personal conditions that may be detrimentally affected by the manual handling activity are reported to HR; equipment provided for safe manual handling is used to minimise manual handling activities; any problems relating to the activity are reported to the Head of Department Correct Technique When undertaking manual handling operations staff shall follow the correct kinetic lifting technique: 1 place the feet apart, giving a balanced stable base for lifting; 2 place the leading leg as far forward as is comfortable; 3 adopt a good posture before lifting; 4 bend the knees; 5 lower the body (keeping the back straight) to such a level that when grasping the load the hands are nearly level with the waist; 6 keep the shoulders level and facing in the same direction as the hips; 7 get a firm grip of the load; 8 if necessary lean over the load a little to get a good grip; Manual Handling Procedure Procedure 5 of 7

6 9 the optimum position and nature of the grip depends on circumstance and preference, but it must be secure. A hook grip is advised because it is less fatiguing than keeping the fingers straight; 10 try to keep the arms within the boundary of the legs; 11 if it is necessary to vary the grip whilst beginning to lift the load put down the load, get an improved grip and re-begin to lift; 12 raise the load; 13 raise the body by straightening the knees (keep the back straight); 14 don t jerk or twist the load during the lift; 15 keep close to the load ensuring that the heaviest side is next to the body; 16 move the feet, don t twist the trunk of the body when turning to the side; 17 when placing the load down, put it down first then adjust its position on the shelf, table, floor etc; 18 be careful not to trap fingers; 19 Do not walk backwards. 9. Information and Training Document Reference: Health and Safety Executive Suitable information and training will be provided to persons who are required to carry out specific manual handling tasks or risk assessments. The Health and Safety Department in conjunction with Human Resources shall organise regular training and refresher training for staff. 10. Record Keeping The College shall record risk assessments. These records will identify the: location; Manual Handling Procedure Procedure 6 of 7

7 date of assessment; description of activity/present system of work; significant risks identified from assessment and overall risk rating; existence and effectiveness of existing control measures; any further recommendations which are required; name of assessor(s); 11. Safe Systems of Work Poor lifting and carrying techniques can result in discomfort and increase the risk of injury. In extreme circumstances, these injuries can have permanent effects. The College has adopted the following simple precautions to reduce these risks through: ensuring that formalised systems of work that have been designed for the work activity are complied with; making full and proper use of aids to lifting and carrying, such as trolleys, chutes and access equipment; items to be stored on suitable shelving (between shoulder and hip height) where possible. Only store small, light items that are infrequently used, above shoulder or below knee height; persons to use their legs and knees to bend and lift, not to stoop and not to bend the back; avoid tasks that require over-stretching or over-twisting; ensuring that regular rest breaks are taken where manual handling activities are repetitive or to prevent the onset of fatigue; ensuring that there are no sharp, hot or cold edges that could cause injury (if this is the case, relevant PPE will be issued) on request to the Health and Safety Department; ensuring that walkways are free from obstructions before moving a load; making full and proper use of trolleys, cages, pallet truck (if trained to use) and personal protective equipment; report any problems or concerns associated with manual handling operations to either the line manager or Health and Safety Department without delay. Consider others - do not overload waste bags and boxes Associated Documents: The College Risk Assessment Procedure The Manual Handling Risk Assessment form GEN 001 The Manual Handling Risk Assessment form for specific tasks; The HSE MAC Guidance Charts for assessing risk This Procedure has been screened to determine equality relevance for the following equality groups: race, disability, gender, pregnancy or maternity, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, religion or faith. The policy is considered to be equality relevant for people within these equality groups. This Procedure has been equality impact assessed to evaluate compliance with the College Equalities Policy. Manual Handling Procedure Procedure 7 of 7

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