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Common Injuries

Most Employees can be exposed to Manual Handling. The types of Employees will include more obvious manual labourer warehouse operatives, production line factory workers, farm workers, supermarket and retail Employees, long and short haul Drivers, Nurses & Care Workers aswell as less labour intensive office based Employees. A large amount of all Manual Handling and lifting Injuries occur in supposedly safe office environments, where Employees injure themselves by (amongst other things), carrying folders and moving furniture. These activities can expose Employees to a Manual handling Risk.

Types of Injuries

  • Poor posture, Exacerbated Injuries to Existing Neck and Back symptoms and Chronic Back Pain, Neck and Upper Back Strains
  • Arms, Wrists and Hand Sprains and Nerve Injuries
  • Joints, Feet, Leg and Ankle Injuries
  • Slipped discs, Sprains and Strains to Muscles, Tendons and Ligaments
  • Trapped Nerves
  • Inguinal Hernias
  • Degenerative Conditions

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Legal Information

Health and Safety legislation specifically requires your Employer to:

  • Avoid the need for Manual Handling and conduct a Risk Assessment to substantiate the reason that the Manual Handling cannot be avoided
  • Reduce the Risk of injury through handling of hazardous items as much as is reasonably possible.
  • Carry out regular Risk Assessments of their organisation’s Manual Handling policies. 

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002 apply to all Employers and cover a range of accidents and injuries at work.  They specify what an Employer should do to prevent injury being caused by manual handling.
They require Employers to consider the whole task rather than just concentrating on the weight. This means that the burden on Employers is very wide ranging. The Employer still have to consider the weights involved in a manual handling task but for example they also have to consider the surrounding area and space available where the procedure is to be carried out and repetitive nature of the task where applicable. The regulations concentrate on risk reduction and risk minimisation.
The Regulations define Manual Handling as the 'transporting or supporting of a load (including lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving) by hand or bodily force'. This is a fairly extensive and wide definition providing scope for providing scope for a claim for manual handling.

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Risk Assessment

The first stage as part of the Risk Management procedure, is that your Employer must avoid the Manual Handling operation. A Risk Assessment Procedure must be conducted by your Employer to show that the Manual Handling cannot be avoided. Where the Manual Handling cannot be avoided by your Employer, then your Employer is obliged to minimise the Risk to you by assessing the Risk to you to the lowest level reasonably practicable, taking into consideration the weight of each load etc. Whilst assessing the Risk procedure, your Employer also has to take into account the you individual  suitability for the Manual Handling and any affect this may have on you.

No Training or limited Rraining in lifting procedures and/or not providing suitable lifting Equipment for the handling, lifting or carrying of objects or loads can cause back injuries or worsen an existing back conditions (medically referred to as exacerbation)

Each Employee should be notified of any Risks identified in the Risk Assessment.

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