What is Manual Handling

woman pulling a pallet truck

Manual handling relates to the act of lifting, carrying, pushing, rolling, lowering, supporting, moving, or pulling an item. This is done using bodily force. 

Whether we are aware of it or not, we carry such actions in our everyday lives, both at work and at home. However, using the correct techniques to move heavy things is important to prevent injuries. A multitude of factors such as the weight of the item, distance, or the number of times the item must be carried are all to be considered. Other factors such as the fitness level of the person carrying the load or whether or not they are a vulnerable person should also be taken into account. 

What are the consequences?

According to Unison.org, “one in three accidents at work are caused by manual handling. Every year, 300,000 people in the UK suffer from back pain due to manual handling accidents.”. Additionally, according to Health and Safety Statistics, 37% or new and long-standing cases of work-related ill health were related to Musculoskeletal disorders in the years 2018/2019. In that same time, the highest rates of disorders caused by manual handling were prominently found in the construction and agriculture industries. 41% of those injuries affected workers’ upper limbs or neck, while 40% affected their backs. 

Those significant numbers show us just how important it is to take care of manual handling and employee’s health at work.

Man with a back injury on a construction site

What do I need to do?

Ideally, you can avoid manual handling tasks as much as possible at work. However, if you work in the construction or agriculture industry, chances are you are likely to regularly partake in it. This means it is your employer’s responsibility to assess the risks and put the appropriate health and safety measures in place.

Construction worker carrying heavy load
Two foreman man & woman worker talking in front of loading containers.

Minerva Health and Safety: Manual Handling Online Course.

Because we believe prevention is better than cure, we have created an Introduction to Manual Handling Course to guide you. Our online course is easy to use and affordable. It is designed to help you gain both awareness and knowledge regarding manual handling safety. Once purchased, our online course is available to you 24/7. You can access it anytime and anyplace, so long as you have an internet connection!   

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