Manual handling refers to the moving of objects by hand or bodily force. This includes lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, and more. It’s a common part of many jobs, from healthcare workers to warehouse employees to office staff.
But manual handling can also be a major cause of injury and illness in the workplace. In fact, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), manual handling is the most common cause of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the UK. MSDs can include injuries like sprains, strains, and back pain, and they can result in time off work and a decrease in productivity.
So, do staff in the UK need to do manual handling training? The short answer is: yes, they do. Here’s what you need to know.
In the UK, you’re required by law to protect your employees from the risks of manual handling. This includes providing adequate training on how to safely perform manual handling tasks.
The specific law that applies to manual handling training is the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR). The MHOR states that employers must assess the risks of manual handling tasks and take appropriate measures to reduce those risks. This includes providing information, instruction, and training to employees on how to safely perform manual handling tasks.
In addition to the MHOR, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 also requires employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees. This includes taking steps to prevent accidents and injuries, including those related to manual handling.
In general, any employee who performs manual handling tasks as part of their job should receive manual handling training. This includes both new employees and those who have been with the company for a while.
However, there are certain groups of employees who may be at higher risk of injury from manual handling, and therefore may need more extensive training. These groups include:
Older employees: As we age, our bodies may become less able to handle the physical demands of manual handling tasks. Older employees may therefore be more at risk of injury and may need more training on how to safely perform these tasks.
New employees: New employees may not be familiar with the company’s policies and procedures for manual handling, and may therefore be more at risk of injury. It’s important to provide thorough training to new employees to ensure they understand how to safely perform manual handling tasks.
Employees with disabilities: Employees with disabilities may have additional physical or mobility limitations that make manual handling tasks more challenging. It’s important to provide them with the training and support they need to safely perform these tasks.
Manual handling training should be tailored to the specific needs of the employee and the tasks they’re expected to perform. However, in general, manual handling training should include:
Manual handling training should also be interactive and hands-on, with plenty of opportunities for employees to practice the techniques and skills they have learned. It’s also important for employees to have the opportunity to ask questions and raise any concerns they may have.
You should also make this training ongoing, with refresher courses provided on a regular basis to ensure that employees are up to date on the latest techniques and procedures.
You can access an affordable manual handling course from Tayl here.
There are a few key steps that employers can take to ensure that their staff receive adequate manual handling training:
In conclusion, manual handling training is an important part of ensuring the health and safety of staff in the UK. Employers have a legal obligation to provide this training, and it’s important for employees to participate and take the training seriously. By following the guidelines outlined above, employers can help to reduce the risk of injury and illness in the workplace and create a safer and more productive work environment for all employees.
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