Cases of preventable health and safety accidents at work have become increasingly well documented in the media, with each case further highlighting the importance of good health and safety management.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, define manual handling as “… any transporting of supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force”.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a third of all workplace injuries are the result of poor or incorrect manual handling meaning for what may seem a small or ‘easy’ task, appropriate procedures for manual handling must always be adhered to.
Particularly, across the catering industry, common manual handling tasks include lifting heaving pans or stock pots, moving beer kegs or furniture and carrying bags of rubbish out to the refuse area. If any of these tasks are not carried out correctly the risk of injury is increased significantly.
In order to prevent and or reduce the risk of injury from incorrect manual handling, we advise a risk assessment is carried out for manual handling tasks which regularly occur, particularly for those which involve the lifting of heavy loads.
It is important to remember that managers cannot be in all places at all times, so developing a culture with an “aware” workforce, who are willing to both self-regulate and learn from each other goes a long way to help companies manage safety within the workplace.
As Health and safety specialists, we can assist you with training your staff in the correct manual handling techniques.
Remember: If a member of staff injures themselves through manual handling, you must complete an accident report, carry out an investigation and take corrective action to prevent recurrence.