Video: HSQE adviser Ben Keegan on safe manual handling
Video: watch HSQE adviser Ben Keegan talking about safe manual handling

If you have a concern about manual handling on your site, raise it with your supervisor or manager immediately.

Don’t wait until someone gets hurt.

Manual handling operations are any transporting or supporting of a load with your hand or body, including lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving.

Most handling injuries are to hands, backs and feet. A disabling injury can impact on your ability to perform your job, and also daily routines. These injuries can occur in a second, but the social, financial and emotional effects can last a lifetime.

  • Use the correct gloves to reduce risk of hand injuries.

Be aware that the wrong type of glove can sometimes give a false sense of protection.

  • Wear the correct boots.

Safety boots that give toe and mid sole protection and ankle support, marked ‘EN345’ with ‘S3’, are mandatory at VGC Group. (Some projects have additional requirements – you will have been told about these at induction.)

  • Control the risks from manual handling.

Consider:

  1. Avoid: Do you need manual handling? Can you use a tool instead eg a sack barrow?
  2. Assess: What are you planning to do? What is the risk of injury?
  3. Reduce the risk: If you can’t reasonably avoid manual handling, reduce the risk, for example by getting someone to help you, and by lifting properly.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, there were around 555,000 injuries at work leading to an estimated 30.7 million lost working days. Approximately 35% of these were musculoskeletal injuries.

This is a higher percentage than the previous year (22% of injuries were handling injuries from April 2016 to March 2017.) Around 25% of the working days lost were attributed to musculoskeletal injuries, which equates to 7.7 million lost days. Source: Health and Safety Executive (link goes to a pdf on the HSE website)

What must employees do?operatives on the north-west electrification project

  • You must take reasonable care of yourself, and others who may be affected by your actions.
  • You must co-operate with your employer’s health and safety programmes.
  • You must report any safety hazard you identify to your employer.
  • You must use the equipment and safety devices supplied to you properly, and in accordance with any training and instructions provided.

If you are worried about manual handling on your site, tell your labour manager or HSQE.