Lead Forensics

HSE advises a fresh approach to manual handling

New advice recently issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggest that rather than relying on an off-the-shelf training package for manual handling, where techniques are standardised to cover all eventualities, employers instead should look at each individual activity and see if the necessity for manual handling could be removed altogether.

The traditional approach of simply bending the knees to lift an object is not enough in today’s fast-growing e-commerce economy, and the new advice aims to eliminate manual handling as far as possible.

A new HSE website has been set up to help employers identify and resolve any manual handling issues. The HSE goes on to explain:

“The overall aim is to avoid and reduce manual handling, and that’s where employers should start if their workforce faces manual handling risks. Don’t start with training, start with re-organising and redesigning your working practices.”

Input from the business and industry sector, trade unions, health and safety professionals, consultants and training providers, has gone into the development of the new web-based advice, and it is hoped that it will help businesses decide which approach is best suited for their particular needs. Advice from a warehouse equipment supplier could also be a key factor when deciding which type of packing stations or sortation tables to use, and where manual handling can be minimised.

The advice can be found on the government website and it is hoped that with the proper advice and help, musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace caused by incorrect manual handling practices could become a thing of the past.

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