What is manual handling?
Manual handling can be essential to a successful firm if performed. Manual handling in the workplace involves lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, or moving objects. It is an everyday activity in many workplaces. While in some workplaces, it is performed by using lifting machines. Being a regular activity in the workplace, there are some ways in which training can help avoid workplace injuries. This blog will highlight the importance of manual handling and explain specific topics that follow it.
Examples of manual handling
- Lifting and carrying heavy boxes or packages
- Moving furniture or equipment
- Pushing or pulling heavy trolleys or carts
- Stacking or unstacking materials or products
- Lifting and transferring patients in healthcare settings
- Handling materials or tools on construction sites
- Loading and unloading cargo from trucks
- Holding bags or containers in warehouses
- Cleaning or maintaining machinery or equipment
- Moving or rearranging items in retail stores
Importance of manual handling training:
Main 6 Importance of Manual handling training that will help in daily life:
- Reducing the risk of injury
Manual handling tasks can cause injury if not performed. Manual handling training will allow employees to lift correctly, reducing the risk of workplace injury.
- Improves productivity
Manual handling training can improve the productivity of a firm. When trained, employees will work more and complete their tasks. Efficiency at work reduces delays and errors.
- Compliance with regulations
Many countries have made it mandatory for employers to provide workplace training. Such training includes manual lifting training. Not providing employees with training can result in legislation penalties. Some examples of such penalties include financial fines, restrictions, and legal action. Providing employees with appropriate exercise can help businesses refrain from such liabilities.
- Reducing costs
Improper lifting techniques in workplaces can cause injuries to employees. These injuries can be costly in the face of medical compensation or insurance. Providing manual handling training to employees means that there will be fewer injuries. Fewer injuries result in a low medical cost that the firm has to bear.
- Promoting employee morale
Training employees and caring for their safety is a sign of trust and respect for the workers. Employees’ morale increases when they feel cared for and respected by their manager.
- Ensuring proper use of equipment
Manual handling training also covers an essential aspect of using appropriate equipment. It helps the employees understand how to wear or use these safety gear and clothes.
Types of injuries caused by manual handling
Manual handling tasks, if done, can injure the employees. These types of injuries range from small to big. Here are some of the most common injuries that can occur at a workplace during manual lifting:
- Back injuries: Back injuries are among the most common damages from manual handling tasks.
- Musculoskeletal: Inappropriate or prolonged manual lifting can cause musculoskeletal injuries.
- Strains and sprains: Strains in various body parts, including the shoulders, neck, arms, and legs. These injuries can be acute or chronic and can cause pain and swelling.
- Fractures: Accidents such as dropping or mishandling heavy objects in a workplace can cause injuries like fractures and broken bones.
- Soft tissue injuries: Coming in contact with a sharp object in the workplace can also result in soft tissue injuries, such as cuts, bruises, or lacerations.
What does manual handling training involves:
Training provides workers with the knowledge and skills to handle work tasks. Online learning sources such as manual handling training course, provides employers and employees with the proper steps of conducting a manual handling test in a workplace as well as implying it in regular working activity. These courses cover different topics of manual handling and also highlight various vital aspects of the training. Here are some of the topics that a manual handling training course covers:
- Risk assessment: This training topic provides information on identifying hazards in a workplace.
- Anatomy and physiology: This topic of manual handling emphasizes teaching the human body structure. Understanding how human body parts can help workers understand the weak and vital points of their body that are to be protected, etc., are.
- Safe lifting techniques: Teach workers to lift and carry objects and put them down without injury.
- Using of lifting aids: Workers are trained on how to use lifting aids such as trolleys or assist others with manual handling tasks.
- Personal protective equipment: Covering personal protective equipment such as gloves or back braces.
- Ergonomics: Covering the principles of ergonomics and teaching how to design safe workplaces and tasks.
- Communication: An employer should motivate its workers to be more communicative. This would ensure that they can perform manual handling tasks appropriately.
Ensuring the effectiveness of training
The prime aim of the employer is to ensure that manual handling creates a safe environment. Here are some of the tips on how an employer can do so:
- Tailor the training to the needs of the workplace: The training provided to the employees should be according to the needs of the workplace. The movement should consider the types of manual handling tasks that workers must perform.
- Using qualified trainers: Qualified and experienced trainers should be hired to provide manual handling.
- Including practical exercises: Creating a realistic situation for practice can help employees better understand manual training.
- Continuous reminder: Employers should not treat manual handling training as a one-time event. Employees should be reminded to use safe lifting techniques. Workers should have access to safety videos, etc., which can be handy anytime.
- Ensure workers are motivated to apply training: Employers should encourage employees to use safe lifting techniques daily. The employer can do this by rewarding workers for implying safe behavior.
In conclusion, manual handling is a crucial aspect of workplace safety. It is also a worker’s right to be taught proper handling training to cut the risks of injuries or other hazards in a workplace. Manual handling can help employers reduce the risk of workplace injuries. Creating a safer and healthier workplace.
Employers can benefit their business in various ways by investing in manual handling training. The benefits include protecting the workers, reducing workplace injuries, and promoting a safe work culture. Hence, the importance of manual handling should be considered and should be a top priority for all employers.