Tragic accident close to home of misjuged pushing pulling technique

For some workers pushing and pulling is all part of a days work, but how safely is this type of work activity being carried out?  This month saw C&C involved in an investigation into a tragic crushing injury which resulted in an amputation due to the poor exection of a pushing and pulling operation.

Conducting a thorough risk assessment of any pulling and pushing activity is essential.  Building on the HSE’s Manual Handling Assessment Charts (MAC Tool), the HSE has developed the risk assessment Pulling & Pushing Tool (RAPP) INDG478.  Aimed at helping those responsible for health and safety in workplaces, the tool will help with identifying high-risk pushing and pulling operations and will check the effectiveness of any risk-reduction measures.

There are two types of pushing and pulling operations that can be assessed with it:

  • moving loads on wheeled equipment, such as hand trolleys, pump trucks, carts or wheelbarrows (Section A)
  • Moving loads without wheels, which might involve actions such as dragging/sliding, churning (pivoting and rolling) and rolling (Section B).

For each type of operation there is a flow chart, an assessment guide and a score sheet.
The flow charts provide an overview of the risk factors and assessment process while the assessment guides provide information to help you determine the level of risk for each factor.

Click here to access a free copy of the RAPP tool.  If you would like advice and support on using it within your workplace, don’t forget your consultant will be happy to help.