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Manual Handling Risk Assessments

DWSafety can provide Manual Handling Risk assessments services.

Risk Assessments
In order to maintain a safe working environment and therefore a healthy, safe workforce, you will need to perform Risk Assessments. By law, regardless of the size of your organisation, every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the Health and Safety of their employees, to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations define it as 'any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or by bodily force'. In effect, any activity that requires an individual to lift, move or support a load will be classified as a Manual Handling task.

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Assessing manual handling risks
At DWSafety we use the TILE system to assess Manual Handling activities and our consultants look at four specific areas – Task, Individual, Load and Environment (easily remembered by the acronym TILE).

As with any assessment, the workforce should be involved in the process, and use will be made of all relevant guidance available for particular industries. We also carry out Manual Handling training.

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Key factors to consider in each element are:

1. The Task: Does the activity involve twisting, stooping, bending, excessive travel, pushing, pulling or precise positioning of the load, or sudden movement, inadequate rest or recovery periods, team handling or seated work?

2. The Individual: Does the individual require unusual strength or height for the activity? Are they pregnant, disabled or suffering from a health problem? Is specialist knowledge or training required?

3. The Load: Is the load heavy, unwieldy, difficult to grasp, sharp, hot, cold, difficult to grip? Are the contents likely to move or shift?

4. The Environment: Are there space constraints, uneven, slippery or unstable floors, variations in floor levels, extremely hot, cold or humid conditions, poor lighting, poor ventilation, gusty winds, clothing or Personal Protective Equipment that restricts movement?

More than a third of all reportable injuries of over three days involve Manual Handling, and around 10% of major injuries are linked to Manual Handling. It has a major impact on all workplaces, and costs the economy hundreds of millions of pounds every year.

In the UK, 1.1m people reported that they suffered from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused, or made worse, by their work. It is estimated 12.3m working days are lost annually due to work-related MSDs.

Anyone involved in the moving and handling of goods and people could be at risk. Injuries and suffering can be linked to any work involving handling of loads. There are risks in handling even light loads if a repetitive task is being carried out in poor conditions. Poor ergonomics and workplace layout are a factor in many hazardous Manual Handling tasks.

Risks can be found in all work sectors, but healthcare, agriculture and construction are recognised as high-risk industries due to the number and nature of the Manual Handling activities.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations- These Regulations state that employers should adopt a hierarchy of control measures:

1. To avoid hazardous Manual Handling Operations so far as is reasonably practicable
2. To assess any hazardous Manual Handling Operation that cannot be avoided
3. To reduce the risk of injury so far as is reasonably practicable.

Other assessments we can carry out
At DWSafety we also carry out a non-exhaustive list of Risk Assessments, including
• First Aid Risk Assessments
• Ladders and Steps Risk Assessments
• Working at Height Risk Assessments
• Drivers Risk Assessments
• Stress Risk Assessments
• Vulnerable Persons Risk Assessments
• Method Statements and Safe Systems of Work
• Workplace Risk Assessments and Audits