3 Lifting and carrying (manual handling) The manual handling or lifting of objects is the cause of more injuries on worksites than any other factor. Back strains and associated injuries are the main source of lost hours in the building services industries. Manual handling can involve: pushing, pulling, and the lifting and lowering of loads (tools, cylinders boilers, radiators, etc.).The movement of loads requires careful planning in order to identify potential hazards before they cause injuries. You should follow the safety precautions and codes of practice at all times.
4 Before we consider the risks and procedures of manual handling, get into the habit of asking yourself whether the load can be moved another way with less risk of personal injury, for example using a sack trolley or a cart.Before moving a heavy load, do the following basic risk assessment:
5 The task Does it involve: stooping? twisting? excessive lifting or lowering distances?excessive carrying distances?excessive pushing or pulling distances?frequent or prolonged physical effort?the sudden risk of the load moving?
6 The load is it: heavy? bulky or unwieldy? difficult to grasp? unstable or with contents that are likely to shift?sharp, hot or otherwise potentially damaging?
7 The working environment does it have:space constraints?slippery or unstable floors?variation in levels?poor lighting?hot / cold / humid conditions?
8 The individual Does he or she have: any restriction on their physical capability?the knowledge and training for manual handling?
9 These are factors that must be taken into account when carrying out manual handling operations. Take a few moments to consider the information in the above lists and the impact each factor could have on the safe movement of tools and materials.Extreme care must be taken when lifting or moving heavy or awkward objects manually. The load generally accepted as maximum for a fit person to lift is 20 kg. The rules for correctly lifting a load are shown in detail on the next page.
10 Testing weight with foot Ensure that the path where you want to move the load is clear from obstructions, that any doors you have to pass through are opened and that you have a clear area for placing the load.Test the load by gently applying force with your foot if it feels heavy or difficult, you may need to seek help for a double lift.
11 Getting hold of loadIf it feels comfortable to move, start from a good base and stand with the feet hip-width apart.Grip the load firmly. (Use gloves to avoid injury. if the load has sharp or rough edges.)Balance the load, using both hands if possible.Take account of the position of the centre of gravity of the load when lifting.
12 Picking up with legs bent Maintain a straight back; bend your knees and let the strong muscles of your legs and thighs do the work.Keep your arms straight and close to the body.Avoid sudden movements and twisting of the spine.
13 Moving slowly Move slowly and evenly. Never obstruct your vision with the load that you are carrying.
14 Placing carefully Place load carefully at the end of the move. Do not drop or slam the load down.
15 What is pushing and pulling? Pushing and pulling of loads is a way to avoid manual lifting and carrying of objects such as by putting the load on a trolley.However, when people push and pull, for example trollies, there may be risk of other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which you need to consider and eliminate or reduce.
16 Although you may think that the Manual Handling Operations Regulations only apply to the lifting, lowering and carrying of loads, they also apply to pushing and pulling. This "pushing and pulling" guide should help you comply with the regulations.
17 Mechanical AidsA mechanical aid refers to any thing used to make the transport or moving of an item easier.Mechanical aids include:-Wheel barrowSack truckTrolleyChain block
18 Mechanical AidsThe law requires that mechanical aids and equipment is maintained.When you buy new trolleys etc, make sure they are good quality with large diameter wheels made of suitable material and with castors, bearings etc which will last with minimum maintenance.Devices such as barrows and trolleys should have handle heights that are between the shoulder and waist. Devices should be well maintained with wheels that run smoothly.
19 WheelbarrowWheelbarrows are used to transport loose material over fairly long distances, the large wheel makes it easier to push across uneven ground.Tray or bed should be firmly secured to the frameHandles should be shoulders width apartWheel should be inflatedLeg brace should be secure and in placeSpindle should be properly secured
20 Sack TruckSack trucks are used to transport large, bulky or heavy items across short distances.Before you use any lifting aid you should perform a visual inspection of the equipmentHandles should be a shoulders width apart and between waist and shoulder heightLeg brace should be secure and in placeBase of the sack truck should be firmly secured to the main frame of the trolleySpindle should be properly secured
21 Sack TruckIf large or bulky items are transported using a sack truck you should use a securing strap to ensure the item does not fall off the truck.If very large items are to be transported then two people should be involved as the person pushing the truck can not see where they are going and miss potential hazard.Large bulky loads should be secured to the trollies with a strap.Once the load is placed on the foot of the sack truck you place your foot on the axil or foot rest at the bottom of the truck as you pull back on the handles.The angle that the sack truck is lowered to is important;Too high and it is difficult to control and push.Too low and the load becomes heavier as well as forcing the user into a bad posture.
22 TrolleyTrollies are used to transport large, bulky or heavy items across short distances usually within industrial buildings, where the floors are flat and even with shallow gradients.No obvious signs of damageSize and design of wheels suitable for the surface they are going to be used onWheels are capable of taking the weight of the load
23 No obvious signs of damage Chain BlockChain blocks are used to lift or pull heavy objects, they range in lifting capacity from 1 ton to over 20 tonnes.They are secured to a suitable anchor point and the item to be moved either by lifting eyes or slings.The smaller chain is pulled one way to lift and the opposite way to lower.No obvious signs of damage