OS&H Management Systems
MANUAL HANDLING Toolbox Meeting 2011 OS&H Management Systems Hive
What is manual handling?
Any activity requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain a person, animal or thing.
Examples of manual handling
Manual handling is not only lifting heavy objects… it also includes: Twisting at the waist Reaching and lifting above the shoulders Working below mid thigh height Carrying or lifting objects with awkward shapes and sizes Working in odd or uncomfortable positions Sitting or standing for too long Doing one or more actions repetitively
Structure of the back The spine is made up of vertebrae.
In between each vertebrae is a membrane which cushions the spine and allows for flexibility. Excessive and uneven pressure can cause the cushion to bulge and it may touch a nerve- this is what causes pain. In some cases the cushion can even pop, so nothing is protecting the vertebrae from touching each other.
Acute and chronic pain Pain can be grouped into acute pain (short term) or chronic pain (long term). Acute pain can be the result of an injury, for example bending in an awkward way and straining a muscle. Usually it will go away after a short period (days or weeks). Chronic pain can also be caused by an injury that does not completely repair, or as a result of continuos stress to the body. Chronic pain may be with you for life and can be debilitating.
Risk Management Manual handling risk management involves three steps:
Hazard identification (spotting the problem) Risk assessment (understanding the problem) Risk control (dealing with the problem)
Step 1: Hazard ID Hazard Identification is up to everyone at work
A hazard is something that may cause harm to you or someone around you The best way to spot a manual handling hazard is by keeping your eyes open and staying focused at work
Step 2: Risk Assessment Risk Assessment in the process of gaining a better understanding of the risk You need to consider the ‘likelihood’ of an incident happening and the ‘consequences’ if something does happen By considering both you can determine the risk rating, and can prioritise the risks. One of the most prominent ways of doing this is with a risk matrix
Risk Matrix Risk Matrix (AS 4360) Consequences
Likelihood Insignificant Minor Moderate Major Catastrophic Almost Certain Moderate High Extreme Extreme Extreme Likely Moderate Moderate High Extreme Extreme Possible Low Moderate Moderate High Extreme Unlikely Low Low Moderate High High Rare Low Low Low Moderate High
Risk Assessment When you are assessing a risk look at all of the risk factors that could contribute Actions and postures Loads handled Work environment Characteristics of employees We will take a closer look at this later.
Step 3: Risk Control When implementing a risk control, the hierarchy of controls must be considered. Hierarchy of Control Eliminate the hazard altogether. Isolate workers from the hazard. Use of engineering controls. Implement engineering controls. Use personal protective equipment.
Example of Controls Eliminate the manual handling task altogether (can it be mechanically lifted or shifted etc.)
Redesign the work, workplace or equipment to reduce the risk.
Example of Controls Redesign the work, workplace or equipment to reduce the risk. Modify the work layout…
Example of Controls Modify the load Repackage to reduce the weight…
Or improve the grip by providing hand holds
Activity Looking at step 2 (Risk Assessment)
Using the Timeout Booklet provided conduct your own risk assessment Write down all of the factors which you may need to consider when assessing a manual handling task.
How can I lift more safely?
If the manual handling risk can not be eliminated, then using these safer lifting techniques can help in preventing injury. Safer lifting techniques apply to planning the lift, performing the lift, setting down the load and when doing a team lift.
Planning your Lift Try to break down the load into smaller parts
Check the pathway for any obstacles and clear these. Check if any doors need to be opened. Test the load of the weight by lifting one corner- if this is too heavy or awkward do not attempt it on your own. Leave it alone and get help.
Performing the lift Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
Move in close to the load. Bend your knees, keep your head upright and maintain the spine’s natural curves. Pull the load close to your body. Secure your grip. Use a smooth controlled motion to lift the load. Avoid twisting or turning your body when lifting, and be sure to use your feet to change direction. Wrong Right
Setting the Load Down Stand with you feet apart.
Get as close as possible to the area you will place the load. Bend your knees, keep you head upright and maintain the spine’s natural curves. Keep the load close. Once the load is where you want it release your grip. Always ensure that the load is secured before you release your grip.
Team Lift In addition to the previous slide, for team lifting:
Before undertaking a team lift it is important to establish emergency commands should one of you experience difficulty during the exercise. If you are lifting a load with team members it is vital to keep communicating with them and tell them of any action you are about to take such as lowering or adjusting the load.
Keep the natural curves of your spine”
Remember!! “Keep the load close & Keep the natural curves of your spine”
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