Manual Handling does not simply refer to lifting heavy items. In fact, Manual Handling can include any activity that requires a person to use force to lift,push,pull carry, or physically transport something. This can include normal office duties such as; carrying boxes full of paper, files, or office equipment.
Risks of injury often occur most often when undertaking tasks that involve:
- Application of strong force
- Repetitive actions
- Frequently bending and twisting
- Working under uncomfortable conditions
- Long periods of work with little sleep
- Working in adverse environmental conditions
- Handling people or animals,
- Heavy lifting
- Handling loads that are difficult to grasp
There is no mandated weight limit as per Health and Safety regulations, since everyone has different physical abilities. Also, one must note that the weight of an object is not the only important factor when manual handling and it is not the only thing brands a task a hazardous one.
What types of Professions involve manual labor?
The question isn’t what type of professions DO include manual labor, but rather what professions DON’T — since most, if not all jobs involve some sort of labor on a regular basis. Some examples of industries that involve manual handling on an almost a daily basis includes health care, office, warehousing, and of course; construction.
Workers in healthcare or geriatric care require the use of manual handling quite often. Training in manual handling for people working in this industry can include advice on safe lifting policies and ways to avoid injury. Courses in manual handling can also act as a refresher to show employers that skills have been updated. Other industries can receive training that will provide the following:
- Help workers understand what Manual Handling is.
- Understand the requirements of the Manual Handling Regulations and Compliance Code.
- Understand the effects of Manual Handling injuries and the value of, and the need for, correct Manual Handling practices.
- Understand the basic anatomy and function of the spine.
- Understand how to conduct a Manual Handling Risk Assessment.
It is important in the workplace to understand what type of manual tasks you are involved with that are potentially hazardous. By understanding and developing methods, one can effectively limit the amount of risks that they are exposed to at work. Safe work procedures can be implemented to teach employees how to safety perform their manual labor tasks. Training can provide employees with the knowledge to reduce risk, and increase productivity in manual labor tasks.