Q. I have sent my employees away for some manual handling training. When I asked how the course went, they all said, “it was alright if I wanted to pick up an A4 box of paper”!.. My employees are required to handle multiple types of stores and equipment that are not the shape of an A4 box. What should Manual Handling training involve?
A. Although training can be important in raising awareness and reducing risk, it should not be assumed that training alone will ensure safe manual handling.It should be supplemented with monitoring and reviews of procedures to ensure that the training is understood and being applied.
Reporting problems such as unsafe working conditions or accidents need to be reinforced by good supervision.
Training should cover:
- manual handling risk factors and how injuries can occur;
- how to carry out safe manual handling including good handling technique
- appropriate systems of work for the individual’s tasks and environment;
- use of mechanical aids;
- practical work related manual handling tasks to allow the trainer to identify and put right anything the trainee is not doing safely
Whilst the principles of safe lifting techniques remain relatively unchanged, their application is influenced by the task, load, individual capabilities and environment.