Steps to Reduce the Risk of Manual Handling Injury in the Workplace.

Steps to Reduce the Risk of Manual Handling Injury


Under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, the employer MUST, 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, take appropriate steps to reduce, to the lowest level reasonably practicable, the risk of injury to those employees, taking into account any risk of injury to them arising out of their carrying out such a manual handling operation.

The employer should consider his manual handling assessment together with the following ways in which contributory risks can be reduced:

  • improved design of job and/or workplace;
  • mechanical assistance;
  • improved task layout;
  • more efficient use of the body;
  • improved work routine;
  • team handling;
  • special clothing or personal protective equipment;
  • making loads lighter;
  • making loads smaller or easier to manage;
  • making a load easier to grasp;
  • making a load more stable;
  • making a load less damaging to hold;
  • removing space constraints;
  • improving the nature and condition of floors;
  • working at safe level;
  • comfort of working environment;
  • avoidance of hazardous air movements;
  • improved lighting;
  • improved housekeeping;
  • restriction on 'at-risk' people, such as pregnant women, employees with a history of back trouble, hernia or other health problems which could affect their manual handling capability;
  • provision of information and training (for example in good lifting and handling techniques, proper use of handling aids, recognition of potential dangers, etc.) and supervision.
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