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Carrying out a Manual Handling Assessment in the Workplace.

Carrying Out a Manual Handling Assessment

Under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid the need for his employees to undertake a manual handling operation which involves a risk of their being injured, the employer must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the operation.

The employer must review any manual handling assessment, and make any necessary changes to it, if there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid; or there has been a significant change in the manual handling operations to which it relates.

The employer must, in making or reviewing any manual handling assessment, have regard to the following factors and questions:

The Tasks - Do the tasks involve:

  • holding or manipulating loads at a distance from trunk?
  • twisting the trunk?
  • stooping?
  • reaching upwards?
  • other unsatisfactory bodily movement or posture?
  • excessive lifting or lowering distances?
  • excessive carrying distances?
  • other excessive movement of loads?
  • excessive pushing or pulling of loads?
  • risk of sudden movement of loads?
  • frequent or prolonged physical effort?
  • insufficient rest or recovery periods?
  • a rate of work imposed by a process?

The Loads - Are the loads:

  • heavy?
  • bulky or unwieldy?
  • difficult to grasp?
  • unstoppable, or with contents likely to shift?
  • sharp, hot, or otherwise potentially damaging?

The Working Environment - Are there:

  • space constraints preventing good posture?
  • uneven, slippery or unstable floors?
  • variations in level of floors or work surfaces?
  • extremes of temperature or humidity?
  • conditions causing ventilation problems or gusts of wind?
  • poor lighting conditions?

Individual Capability - Does the job:

  • require unusual strength, height, etc.?
  • create a hazard to those who might reasonably be considered to be pregnant or to have health problems?
  • require special information or training for its safe performance?

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