The human body is incredible! It has 206 bones, 240 joints, over 650 muscles and 1 billion nerves, all wrapped up in 2 square metres of skin. Now that's some numbers.
It is essential that it's cared for properly. After all, it's far easier for you to look after your body than it is to mend it.
Be mindful of correct manual handling procedures
Taking care of your back is especially important. Back pain is the most common injury sustained by people who carry out manual handling at work, so it's good to take note.
If your back is off balance because of an awkward posture or a bad manual handling technique, it's easy to injure yourself. It's possible to pick up an injury from a single incident, like lifting a load that's too heavy for you. Back injuries often happen by repeating bad habits regularly.
So, there are a few things you need to be aware of on a daily basis that can help prevent aches, pains, and more severe damage. It's important to think about the tasks you complete daily, at work and at home. Remember that manual handling involves supporting or transporting a load using your hands or physical force.
Manual Handling Risk Assessments
Manual handling may be a big part of your job, but it might also just be the odd task here and there, like moving a printer, picking up a stack of paper, or putting big cartons of milk in the office fridge. But all of these things count, no matter how often you do them, even though most of us always perform tasks like this.
It is important to conduct a manual handling risk assessment before staff pick anything up, so that they don’t strain their body or risk injury during handling operations.
That said, it's important to remember the correct manual handling procedures before you carry out any lifting task at work, starting with the three golden rules…
The three golden rules of manual handling
Firstly, test the weight of the load before you commit to lifting it. Get a good grip on the load and slowly lift it just an inch or two off the surface and then put it back down. This will help you work out whether you can safely move the load by yourself or need help. If the weight of the load is uneven, manoeuvre it so that the heavier side is closest to you.
Secondly, find a stable position and a neutral posture, with your shoulders back, your feet shoulder-width apart, and your hips and shoulders facing the load. Putting one foot in front of the other will offer you more balance if the load is heavy or awkward to carry.
Lastly, always use your legs to lift. These are your strongest muscles and can safely take more weight than your arms and back. This way, you'll avoid straining or injuring other muscles and lift more efficiently. If you follow these correct manual handling procedures, you reduce the risk of a workplace injury.
Online Manual Handling Training
Here at iHASCO, as a premier eLearning provider, we offer an online Manual Handling Training course for all staff levels. We want to help your employees understand the best manual handling practices and their responsibilities under current legislation.
The IOSH-approved course can be completed in just 35 minutes and provides a printable certificate upon completion of the end-of-training test. It's as easy as that!