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Safety Nudges

Manual Handling

Published by Safety Net Team

November 29, 2022

Manual handling causes more than one-third of all workplace injuries and features in almost everyone’s job in almost every sector. Therefore, a manual handling activity that represents a significant risk should be avoided, automated or mechanised wherever possible.
This topic outlines the steps that can be taken to manage manual handling operations effectively.
Employers’ Duties
• Employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of all employees under the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974.
• Under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, the employer must avoid the need for hazardous manual handling operations, so far as is reasonably practicable.
• Where a hazardous manual handling operation cannot be avoided, you should carry out a thorough assessment and use it as the basis of action to minimise the risk.
• As part of these measures, provide suitable training and information to employees. Include in this training the principles of correct handling, a safe system of work and the use of any risk reduction measures provided by the employer.
• Provide precise information on the nature of the load to be handled, including weight, centre of gravity, etc.
• Monitor the effectiveness of those measures, and reassess where necessary.
Employees’ Duties
• Employees have a duty to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of other people who may be affected by their work (Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974).
• The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 require employees to make full and proper use of any system of work intended to reduce the risk of injury from manual handling activities.
• The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employees to:
– use any machinery, equipment, transport, safety devices and means of production in accordance with any training and instructions provided by the employer
– inform the employer of any serious and imminent dangers to health and safety
– inform the employer of any shortcomings in the employers health and safety arrangements.

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