How to reduce manual handling injuries in the workplace?

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manual handling injuries

Every year, approximately thousands of workers suffer from back pains and injuries caused by manual handling. 

Manual handling refers to activities that involve bodily stress while moving various objects by hand. Some examples of these include load lifting, pulling, pushing, packing, heavy machine operation, etc.

These work tasks can put immense pressure on the employee’s back, causing physical health deterioration. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure safe and healthy work conditions.

Yes, we know what you might be pondering about right now; how can you reduce manual handling injuries in the workplace?

Well, you can provide manual handling training and educate your workers about the right load-lifting techniques. However, the most effective method is to redesign the workplace and make it safe. Read to unravel more!

Understanding the Cause

There is no fixed task that accounts for manual handling injury. Any work that involves bodily movement and exertion can cause it. For example, back pain may result from both extreme bending required to pick up the fallen items and load lifting.

However, to help you understand better, we can categorize the diversity of manual handling injury causes into four different triggers. These include:

Nature of the Task

Performing intensive tasks for prolonged periods and regularly is more likely to cause manual handling injuries. Thus, professional laborers and load lifters are at more risk than office workers.

Weight

The amount of weight carried by individuals matters a lot. It is not recommendable to lift a load of more than 55 lbs (25 kg) manually. Doing so can cause extreme muscle and bone issues.

Workplace Design

Cramped workplaces result in employees having to bend and twist awkwardly to execute the tasks. These unnatural movements can cause injuries easily.

Live Load Handling

Handling a non-living thing allows one the chance to apply manual handling techniques. However, when handling live loads like animals, helping injured people, or elderly persons, one has to perform much more complicated movements. It can result in back pains and muscle strains.

Types of Manual Handling Injuries

Similar to the triggers, the types of manual handling injuries that can occur in the workplace are uncountable. The most common ones include:

  • Back pain
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Hernia
  • Crush injuries

3- Best Ways to Reduce Manual Handling Injuries at Workplace

Manual handling injuries are unavoidable. But, you can most certainly minimize them. Here are the best ways to reduce manual handling injuries at your workplace:

Opt for a Larger, Spacious Workspace

It does not matter if you have a small marketing business or a massive mining company. You should always provide your employees with larger and spacious places to work.

Manual Handling Training

The manual handling training prepares and educates employees about techniques to handle load properly. It is crucial for all industries so that individuals can prevent injuries as much as possible.

Incorporate Technology

Nowadays, several load-lifting machines and equipment are available to use. You can provide your employees with these technologies and reduce injuries.

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