Manual Handling

Almost a quarter of all work related injuries are caused by an accident involving manual handling. Most injuries are to back, legs, feet, hands and arms. Some of the back injuries can result in permanent disability.

Manual Handling is defined, for the purposes of these regulations, as an activity involving the movement or support of a load by hand or by bodily force. The range of injuries associated with manual handling is potentially very wide. However, the risks to health from manual handling fall within 3 main categories:

  1. Injuries to the muscular or skeletal system of the handler.
  2. Injuries caused by the load falling onto or trapping part of the handler or someone nearby.
  3. Injuries caused by the handler falling, perhaps against the load or other objects.

Six Rules for Lifting:

  • Make sure the place where the load is to be put down is clear of obstruction. Assess the muscular effort required.
  • Stand close to the load with feet apart so that you have a balanced stable base for lifting.
  • Do not bend your back. Bend at the knees and keep your back as straight as possible.
  • Get a firm grip and move the load close to your body.
  • Do not jerk the load, lift it smoothly.
  • Always keep your arms and the load close to your body. When turning, use your feet rather than twisting your body.