HSE Manual Load handling Precaution and Tips

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The following are safety manual while handling the load to corrective way to prevent any injuries in worker bodies. Starting from definition to identify the hazard, risk assessing with control and tips for lifting the load. 
HSE Manual Load handling Precaution and Tips

Definition of Manual handling in terms of HSE

Manual handling is an activity involving the movement or support of load by hand or by bodily force, or the handling of loads by human efforts as opposed to mechanical handling. This includes lifting up, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying and moving of load. A load is defined as any item or object, which is being transported or supported.

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

Injuries resulting from manual handling are:
  • Back Injuries
  • Hernias
  • Damaged Knee Joints
  • Strains
  • Fractured (crushed fingers/toes)
  • Cuts, Abrasions, and Bruising
  • Burns (hot, cold or chemical burns)
Many manual handling cases of injuries are cumulative from record rather than to consider; being attributable to any of a single handling incident at the workplace. A full recovery is not always made, and the result might be a physical impairment and even permanent disability.

Hands, feet, and arms are also vulnerable, and practice of poor handling can also put excessive stress/load on the knees/muscles. In case if there is a risk of injury from manual handling and the operation cannot be avoided, or mechanized an assessment should be carried out before the operation. It should be noted that similar provisions to those detailed below need to be provided to employees who work from home and may undertake manual handling as part of their job activities.

Control Measures

To measure and control, learn the tips to provide the proper training and induction training to the workers before lifting any load.  Some basic load tips are the followings.

Before lifting a load, you should consider the following factors and specific characteristics of the load:
  1. Weight
  2. Size
  3. Shape
  4. Rigidity
  5. Center of gravity
  6. Is it very hot or cold
  7. Is it sharp
  8. Is it slippery (difficult to grasp)
  9. Is it unstable (e.g. containing a liquid)

Good Handling Techniques

Proper handling techniques are as follows:
  • STOP AND THINK (where is the load to be placed).
  • PLACE THE FEET (feet apart to give firm, stable base).
  • ADOPT and PRACTICE A GOOD POSTURE (bend the knees, but caution of do not kneel or over flex them, keep your back straight 90 angles but lean forward over the load a little if necessary to get a good grip).
  • GET A FIRM GRIP
  • DO NOT JERK
  • While MOVING your FEET (do not twist the trunk when turning during work).
  • KEEP CLOSE TO LOAD
  • PUT DOWN AND THEN ADJUST

General Precautions

  • Carrying a load to a long distance should be minimized, especially if the task is to be regularly repeated.
  • Allow sufficient time for recovery and rest breaks.
  • Allow for personal limitations, age, and fitness, etc.
  • Ensure enough space to complete the task safely.
  • The route should be free from obstructions and contamination.
  • Provide sufficient lighting.
  • Take heat and weather conditions into consideration.
  • Item to be pushed or pulled should be as close to waist height as possible.

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