Mechanical Aid

Mechanical aids for manual handling are devices or tools designed to assist in lifting, moving, or transporting heavy objects, reducing the risk of injury associated with manual handling tasks.

Mechanical aids for manual handling are devices or tools designed to assist in lifting, moving, or transporting heavy objects, reducing the risk of injury associated with manual handling tasks. Below are some common mechanical aids used in manual handling. 

  • Lifting equipment: This includes equipment such as cranes, hoists, and lifts which are used to lift heavy objects, reducing the need for manual lifting. 
  • Conveyor belts: These are used to transport heavy or bulky items over a distance, eliminating the need for manual handling by personnel. 
  • Pallet jacks: These are used to move pallets or heavy loads horizontally by lifting them onto the forks and pushing or pulling the load. 
  • Trolleys and carts: These wheeled devices are designed to transport goods, equipment and materials, reducing the strain of carrying them manually. 
  • Dollies: These are platforms with wheels used for moving heavy objects or stacks of items. They can be manual or motorised. 
  • Hand trucks: Commonly known as sack trucks or dolly trucks, hand trucks have handles, wheels, and a small platform to carry heavy or bulky items. They reduce the strain on the back and arms of the operator. 
  • Vacuum lifters: These devices use suction cups or magnets to lift and move heavy loads, such as glass panels or metal sheets. 
  • Manipulators: These are mechanical devices that assist in lifting, rotating, and moving heavy objects in a controlled manner. They often have articulated arms and can be operated remotely. 
  • Ergonomic tools: Tools with ergonomic features, such as handles with comfortable grips or adjustable angles, can help reduce the strain on the user’s body during manual handling tasks. 


When using mechanical aids for manual handling, it’s imperative to consider the following safety guidelines. 

  1. Training: Ensure that workers are trained in the correct use of the specific mechanical aids they will be using. This includes understanding the equipment’s capacity, operating procedures, and any safety precautions. 
  2. Maintenance: Mechanical aids should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they are in good working condition. Faulty or damaged equipment should be taken out of service until repaired. 
  3. Weight limits: Each mechanical aid has its own weight capacity. Make sure workers are aware of these limits and do not exceed them to prevent accidents. 
  4. Clear pathways: Ensure that pathways are clear and free of obstacles to allow smooth movement of the mechanical aids and prevent accidents. 
  5. Personal protective equipment (PPE): Workers should wear appropriate PPE, such as gloves, safety shoes, and back support belts, when operating mechanical aids or handling heavy objects. 
  6. Teamwork: If multiple workers are involved in a manual handling task using mechanical aids, clear communication and coordination are essential to avoid accidents and injuries. 


While mechanical aids can greatly reduce the risk of injury, it’s vital to use them correctly and follow the recommended safety procedures. 

iProtectU provides workplace inspection forms and allows a user to create, edit and document a risk assessment manual handling and the use of mechanical aids. 

iProtectU brings together the key resources and knowledge of three companies specialising in EHS software development, health and safety, business intelligence and data analytics. 

Our vision is to provide fully integrated, cost effective and simple to use health and safety software tools that enable our clients to engage their entire team. 

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