Manual Handling

Under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and regulations 10 and 13 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers are required to provide their employees with health and safety information and training. This is supplemented, as necessary with more specific information and training on manual handling injury risks and prevention, as part of the steps to reduce risk required by regulation 4(1)(b)(ii) of The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. “

The results of the systematic review of “Manual handling training and current practices and development of guidelines” (funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)) indicate there is little evidence supporting the effectiveness of technique educational based manual handling training. There was considerable evidence that principles learnt during training are not applied in the working environment, i.e. there is little transfer of training from the learning environment to the working environment.

Evidence does exist that multi-element ergonomics interventions, particularly those that include risk assessments, the observation of workers in their working environment, the tailoring of training to suit individual needs, and the redesign of equipment and handling tasks can be effective in reducing the risk of manual handling injuries.

Safehands’ training emphasis is on changing attitudes and behaviour and promoting risk awareness among workers and managers. We are trying to achieve this emphasising manual handling should not be carried out, using hierarchy of control and carrying out task specific risk assessment training, carrying out Manual Handling Risk Assessment using “TILE”, that is tailored to recipients’ level of knowledge and understanding of, what the risks are, how do they affect the workers and with a refresher on lifting techniques.

WRMSD’s can be sub divided into the more specific and recognised body regions of the back, upper limbs and lower limb disorders. These sub categories when combined, form the overall grouping values presented in this document for the general classification of MSD illness type. Musculoskeletal disorders can affect muscles, joints and tendons in all parts of the body. Most WRMSDs develop over time. They can be episodic or chronic in duration and can also result from injury sustained in a work-related accident.

Additionally, they can progress from mild to severe disorders. These disorders are seldom life threatening but they impair the quality of life of a large proportion of the adult

Work-related disorders can develop in an occupational setting due to the physical tasks with which individuals carry out their normal work activities. WRMSDs are associated with work patterns that include:

Additionally, workplace psychosocial factors such as organisational culture, the health and safety climate and human factors may create the conditions for WRMSDs to occur. Generally, none of these factors act separately to cause WRMSDs. They more commonly occur as a result of a combination and interaction among them.

 The latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that in Great Britain:

Work-related MSDs can be aggravated by people’s activities outside work and their general health and fitness.

Current position: MSDs account for 41% of all ill health cases and 34% of all working days lost due to ill health. The total number of working days lost in 2015/16 was 8.8 million, with an average of 16 days per case. Of the 539 000 cases, 176 000 were new in that year. The overall economic cost to Great Britain, based on the latest available estimates, was just over £2 billion. HSE statistics site:

 Health and Safety Executive want to see:


Preventive action

It’s good for people to use their bodies at work, so it’s important not to give the message that working means harm.However, in some instances people can overload their musculoskeletal system at work, without any symptoms being evident in the early stages. This could be from sitting for too long or from doing what might traditionally be thought of as ‘heavy’ jobs. Therefore, it’s important to carry out risk assessments across the work site and identify any possible musculoskeletal hazards to which the workforce is being exposed to prevent any cases occurring.


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