Lead Forensics

Businesses must invest in health and safety of manual handling workers

According to an article by Graham Sharp in Material Handling World, businesses should invest in the health and safety of warehouse workers, especially those whose duties include manual handling. A proactive approach to health and safety can prevent injuries and increase production.

There are around 100,000 manual handling injuries every year in the UK, with 2,000 of those severe. Over 40% of all work-related injuries are musculoskeletal injuries mainly caused by poor manual handling.

Sharp urges businesses to invest in staff health, noting that workers in optimal health are more likely to work safely as well as being more productive.

Some warehouses, especially during the Christmas period, expect warehouse workers to work long hours to fulfill customer orders. According to the Lancet Commission, 15 million workdays were lost from stress, depression and anxiety, some of which can be attributed to working too many hours. Mental health issues cost businesses £42bn a year according to the 2017 Stevenson/Farmer review.

Warehouse equipment manufacturers can help by designing heavy duty warehouse trolleys and other equipment which is easy and safe to use, designed ergonomically so that operators do not have to stretch or twist.

Sharp advises employers to take a proactive approach to wellbeing and safety and make warehouses pleasant places to work in. Happiness is linked to productivity and performance, and health and safety can be seen as an investment rather than a cost because it can improve productivity and ultimately more profits.

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