Manual handling causes over a third of all workplace injuries. These include work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as pain and injuries to arms, legs and joints, and repetitive strain injuries of various sorts. The term manual handling covers a wide variety of activities including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying and If any of these tasks are not carried out appropriately there is a risk of injury.

The importance of manual handling at work is to ensure that employees understand the hazards associated with manual handling and how to reduce the risk of injury throughout any workplace, from warehouse to factories, from offices to construction:-there is always a risk which needs to managed via educating the employee and employer. There is a legal responsibility on employers to carry out risk assessments on any manual handling activity, where there is a risk of personal injury or harm to others and also to ensure that suitable training is supplied to employees engaged in manual handling activities.

Manual handling injuries

Manual handling activities occur in almost all industries and is a common cause of risk in many workplaces. It is the biggest cause of ‘lost time’ accidents in the UK. Common injuries include:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) – this include neck and upper limb disorders, lower limb disorders, back pain and back injuries and damage to joints or other tissues in the body
  • Sprains – the painful twisting of the ligaments of a joint
  • Strains or “pulled muscles” – injury to the muscle where the muscle fibres tear
  • Prolapsed discs – a rupture of the cartilage of a spinal disc
  • Hernia – a rupture in the lower abdomen caused by excessive strain on the muscles
  • Crushed limbs – caused by loads falling and trapping limbs
  • Cuts and abrasions – caused by rough, sharp edges on objects.

Some of the injuries listed are superficial but the major injuries that result from poor manual handling techniques are not only costly but can cause lifelong pain and disfigurement.

Manual handling training courses

At Midlands Health & Safety Consultancy, all of our consultants are NUCO Instructors. Nuco Training is an international training company that provides specialised instructor training for those who teach First Aid, Health & Safety, Manual Handling and Fire Safety to ensure fully competent instructors. We can offer you accredited courses with certification of completion. Our courses are accredited by a governing body that is supported by regulatory awarded organisations such as Qfqual and SQA. Our Manual Handling courses include:-

Manual handling Level 2
This course provides learners with invaluable knowledge and understanding of the importance of safe manual handling, risk assessments for manual handling and guidance on appropriate control measures. It includes the duties of employers and employees in relation to manual handling plus the use of mechanical and non – mechanical aids and the hierarchy of control.

In-house manual handing and lifting aids training

This half day course ensures that delegates are confident in completing safe manual handing practice whilst at work. Covering different types on mechanical and non – mechanical aids, hierarchy of control and dynamic thought processes for risk assessment to implement safe manual handling. This is followed by a practical assessment specific to the companies manual handling practices.

How often should manual handling training be carried out?

The HSE web site states that refresher training should be carried out whenever it is felt necessary (for example a change in working condition, the introduction of new equipment, staff or working practices or when it is felt necessary to undertake refresher training). Many registration bodies such as CHAS, SafeContractor, ConstructionLine and other members of the SSiP scheme all recommend that re-training is done every 3 years on all courses.

For further information on Manual Handling at work and any other Health and Safety requirements and support, please contact us here.