The Ergonomic Approach to Manual Handling 

Manual handling is the transporting or supporting of a load by hand or bodily force. It is a common activity in many workplaces, and it can be a major cause of injuries.

The ergonomic approach to manual handling is a way of managing the risk of injury by considering how the task is performed and how the environment may be modified to make it safer. 

The Ergonomic Approach to Manual Handling involves the following steps: 

  • Identifying the hazards. Identify any hazards associated with the manual handling task. This includes the weight of the load, the distance it needs to be moved, the environment in which it is being moved, and the physical capabilities of the people who will be doing the handling. 
  • Evaluating the risks. Determine the level of risk. This involves considering the probability / likelihood of an injury occurring and the severity of the injury should it occur. 
  • Implementing control measures. Next, control measures need to be implemented to reduce the risk of injury. This may involve modifying the task, the environment, or the equipment. 
  • Monitoring and reviewing. It is important to monitor and review the control measures to ensure that they are effective. This may involve repeating the risk assessment process on a regular basis. 

How to implement control measures to reduce the risk of injury from manual handling:

  • Using mechanical aids. Equipment such as hoists and trolleys, can help to reduce the weight of the load and the distance it needs to be moved. 
  • Modifying the task. The task can be modified to make it safer, for example by reducing the number of repetitions or by changing the way the load is lifted. 
  • Modifying the environment. The environment can be modified to make it safer, for example by providing better lighting or by creating a safer walkway. 
  • Training workers. Workers need to be trained in safe manual handling techniques. This training should cover the principles of manual handling, the risks involved, and the control measures which can be implemented to reduce the risk of injury. 

The ergonomic approach to manual handling is an effective way to reduce the risk of injury due to manual handling. By following the steps outlined above, employers can help to ensure that their employees are safe when they are handling loads.

Here are some additional tips for implementing an ergonomic approach to manual handling: 

  • Involve workers in the process. Workers are the experts on their own jobs, so they should be involved in the process of identifying hazards, evaluating risks, and implementing control measures. 
  • Make it a continuous process. The ergonomic approach to manual handling is not a one-time thing. It should be an ongoing process that is reviewed and updated on a regular basis. 
  • Be patient. It takes time to implement an ergonomic approach to manual handling. Don’t expect to see results overnight. 

By following these guidelines, employers can help to create a safer workplace for their employees.

The iProtectU Health and Safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows safety inspection creation and report of the workplace 
  • eLearning on Manual Handling guidelines 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment template covering Manual Handling tasks 
  • Management system to document control the policy on Manual Handling 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of work activity working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on Manual Handling in the workplace 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving heavy lifting both with an app and also via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding manual handling activities to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 

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