Manual Handling- The Whole Story!

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1 Manual Handling- The Whole Story! For Responsible Managers and Assessors Course Notes Mark Mallen Group Health and Safety Manager July 2005

2 Course Content 1 What is Manual Handling? 2 What s the Problem? Some Statistics Types of Injuries How we can get Hurt? 3 Legal Framework The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 Employers Duties Employees Duties Additional Legislation 4 How to Comply? General Principals Manual Handling Assessment Record Company Procedures Practical Assessment The Ergonomic Approach! Complete Practical Assessment The Benefits What Next? 5 Manual Handling Technique Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 2 of 16

3 What is Manual Handling? Lifting Moving Carrying Pushing Pulling Legal Definition: Any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or by bodily force - Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 3 of 16

4 What s the Problem? Some Statistics More than a third of plus 3-day injuries arise from manual handling! On average, each injury results in 20 days off work! Many injuries build up over a period of time, rather than being caused by a single accident! Cumulative injuries, through repetitive handling, can lead to physical impairment or permanent disability! These injuries occur in all workplaces! Kinds of accident causing injury Manual Handling 36% Struck by 20% Trips 19% Machinery 5% Falls 7% Other 13% Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 4 of 16

5 Types of injury caused by handling accidents 1996/1997 Sprain/ Strain 74% Other 3% Superficial 5% Fracture 3% Laceration 9% Contusion 6% Sites of injuries caused by handling 1996/1997 Finger/ Thumb 14% Lower Limb 8% Hand/Wrist 9% Arm 10% Other 3% Rest of Torso 7% Back 49% Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 5 of 16

6 Types of Injuries Musculoskeletal Strains and Sprains Muscles, Ligaments and Joints can be injured by over exertion, accidents, and repetitive actions! Fractures Slipping, Falling or Dropping heavy loads may break Lower Limbs, Feet, Toes, Hands, and Fingers! Prolapsed (Slipped) Disc Local bending of the spine may damage the backs shock absorbers, result resulting in inflammation! Other Injuries Wounds Handling sharp, rough surfaces may cut skin! Hernia The strain of lifting can cause ruptures in the abdominal wall! Burns Caused by the inappropriate handling of hot or cold objects or corrosive chemicals! Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 6 of 16

7 How We Can Get Hurt! Lifting Lifting loads may result in spinal injuries, such as prolapsed discs. Lifting heavy loads, using poor posture and abnormal positions of the body, such as bending and twisting, may also cause hernias and strains. Carrying Carrying may cause injury in the same way as lifting loads, particularly if the load is held away from the body, which causes an extra strain on muscles. If held for some time, this will increase the level of fatigue on the body. Repetitive strain injuries can occur if the task involves carrying a load a number of times. The nature of the load may also give rise to injury i.e. hot, sharp, or corrosive. Pushing and Pulling This can cause musculoskeletal injury due to the combined stresses put on the spinal arrangements by the use of the abdominal and back muscles. The load may require an erratic or violent movement that can result in a strain. Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 7 of 16

8 Additional Factors The Load Weight Obviously, the weight of an object can cause injury. Appendix I of the Guidance to the Manual Handling Operations Regulations shows GUIDELINE weights. The figures given are for infrequent operations 30 per hour. Operations of once or twice per minute, reduce by 30% Operations of five to eight times per minute, reduce by 50% Operations of over twelve times per minute, reduce by 80% Manual Handling Weights Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 8 of 16

9 Additional Factors The Load Associated Hazards The weight of the load may not be the only risk factor. Other factors associated with the load may be: Bulky Unwieldy Difficult to grasp Unstable Sharp Edges Hot Cold Wet Oily Additional Factors The Workplace The workplace itself may provide increased risk of injury, as various hazards may be present, such as: Floor surfaces Variations in floor levels Cramped work area Lighting Untidy work area Hold Cold Humid Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 9 of 16

10 Individual Capacity The guidelines are intended to give reasonable protection to nearly all men and between half and two thirds of women. However, people s capacities vary greatly, due to age, sex, and physical build. Pregnancy can increase the risk, due to posture problems and hormonal effects on the body. Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 10 of 16

11 Legal Background Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 General Principles Establish if a manual handling risk exists. Avoidance of manual handling. Assessment of risk Reduce the risk of injury, by an ergonomic approach Provide Information, Instruction, and Training! Employers Duties Each Employer shall: So far as is reasonably practicable, avoid the need for employees to undertake manual handling operations, which involve a risk of injury. Where Manual Handling Operations, which pose a risk of injury, cannot be avoided: Make suitable and sufficient assessment of all such operations. Take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level reasonably practicable. Provide information on the weight and the centre of gravity of loads. Regularly review assessments. Employees Duties Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, Regulation 5 Each employee while at work shall make full and proper use of any system of work provided for his use by his employer in compliance with regulation 4(1)(b)(ii) of these Regulations. Use the controls provided Co-operate with the employer on health and safety matters! Take care not to put themselves or others at risk! Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 11 of 16

12 Additional Legislation Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Regulation 12 requires employees to make use of appropriate equipment provided for them, in accordance with the training and the instructions their employer has given them. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Any mechanical equipment provided is subject to the above. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 These regulations are applicable to the working environment in which the manual handling operations are conducted. Construction (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1996 These regulations are applicable to the working environment in which the manual handling operations are conducted. Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 Any protective equipment provided to protect against hazards associated with the load or workplace are subject to these regulations. Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 12 of 16

13 How to Comply? General Principles The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 require the following approach to manage risk: Evaluate the task, to establish if a manual handling risk exists. Avoidance of manual handling, if possible Assessment of Risk Reduce the risk of injury, by an ergonomic approach Provide Information, Instruction, and Training! Wherever possible (so far as is reasonably practicable) employers should attempt to avoid the need for manual handling altogether, which is the most effective way of eliminating the risk. No Hazard - No Risk! This can be achieved by mechanisation, i.e.: Hoists Fork Lift Trucks Conveyors How to Comply? If we cannot eliminate manual handling, by automation or mechanisation, we must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk and deploy controls to reduce the risk of injury to operatives. Manual Handling Assessment Record The company has procedures and an assessment pro-forma especially designed to enable you to conduct an assessment. Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 13 of 16

14 How to Comply? The Ergonomic Approach If we cannot eliminate the need for manual handling by elimination automation / mechanisation, the regulations require us to reduce the risk of injury by taking the ergonomic approach. Fitting the job to the person, rather than the person to the job! Mechanical Assistance Suction Pads, Hoists, Lifting Cradles Adapting the Task Improve workplace layout Reduce the amount of twisting and stooping Avoid the need to lift from floor level, or above shoulder height Reduce carrying distances Avoid repetitive handling Job rotation Team handling Adequate rest periods Adapting the Load Reduce the weight Make it easier to hold Provider appropriate containers for liquid loads Make it less damaging to hold Adapt the Working Environment Remove obstructions Improve the flooring Avoid steps and steep ramps Prevent extremes of hot and cold Provide adequate lighting House keeping regime The Individual Take care of those with physical weakness Look after pregnant workers Provide information on the load Provide training in good handling technique Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 14 of 16

15 The Benefits The Individual Makes work easier! Less tiring! Less likely to sustain injury! Improve your productivity! The Company Reduces accidents! Ensures legal compliance! Reduces costs! Improves productivity! By adopting an ergonomic approach to our manual handling solutions, risk of injury can be reduced! Training in correct lifting technique is only part of the solution! What Next? Conduct assessments Use people doing the job as assessors Set up assessment teams No need to assess each employee Can apply to several employees and workplaces If work and environment is similar Use the assessments Pinpoint worst features of task Improve these first! Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 15 of 16

16 Handling Technique Stop and Think! Plan the route Remove obstructions Consider where the load is to be placed Use handling aids Use PPE Consider breaks to rest and change grip Make the load does not shift Break the load down, if possible If using a team lift, ensure one member of the team controls the lift Place the feet, apart, giving a stable base Adopt a good position BEFORE lifting the load Bend the knees Lower the body, hands at near waist level Keep shoulders level and facing the same direction as the hips Get a firm grip Hook fingers under the load, if possible If necessary, lean forward over the load for improved grip Keep the arms within the boundary formed by the legs Now Lift! Raise the body by straightening the knees (straight Back) Smooth movements, do not jerk or twist Keep the load close to the body Keep elbows in Put load down, before adjusting grip Allow muscles to rest, before continuing Put the load down Adjust its position Ensure load is secure Do not lift loads beyond your physical capability! Manual Handling The Whole Story! Page 16 of 16

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