We move objects in everyday life, but when in a work environment we need to consider the objects or people we may move. We need to assess whether there is risk to individuals moving these items and how we can minimise the risk. The Manual Handling Regulations require that employer takes all reasonable steps to reduce the risk to an individual.
What are the requirements to consider?
The Manual Handling Regulations promote the Hierarchy of Measures
- Avoid where possible
- Assess where an activity cannot be avoided
- Reduce the risk of the activity
- Review activities regularly
It is the responsibility of the employer to:
- Assess the work activities
- Reduce the risk to employees in carrying out manual handling tasks
- Ensure that employees are appropriately trained and equipped for activities
- Ensure that employees are following safe systems of work
It is the responsibility of the employee to:
- follow safe systems of work
- co-operate with the employer and let the employer know of any concerns
- take reasonable care to ensure their actions do not put themselves or others at risk
Carrying out a risk assessment
It is important to carry out a risk assessment to identify the different manual handling activities and what people, equipment and training need to be in place. The majority of risk assessments can be taken in house by a competent person, as the best people to know your business are those who do the job every day, as every business will be different. As part of a risk assessment you should consider:
- Task - how often will the activity be undertaken
- Individual - who will be carrying out the activity
- Load - what is the item/individual that is being moved as part of the activity
- Environment - what is the environment through which the item is being moved
- Equipment - what equipment will be used to move the item
Different types of training
There are main two areas of training, but these expand depending on need.
- Manual Handling Objects are for all staff involved in business. This will focus on looking after yourself, the law and moving objects.
- Moving People Safely building on Manual Handling Objects to look at the moving of people.
Each of the courses will go into specific areas depending on the need of different equipment and specific types of items to move.
In Wales and Scotland there are defined standards for the moving of people. If you looking to contract with big organisations, they will look that you are trained to these standards. These standards are the: