What is Manual Handling?
Manual handling is any task that requires you to push, pull, lift, carry, move, hold or lower any object, person or animal. Manual tasks include tasks that have repetitive actions, sustained postures and may involve exposure to vibration.
Manual handling results in 20% of workers compensation claims at UNSW. The types of injuries related to manual handling include:-
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Tendon and ligament injuries
- Bone injuries
- Injuries from falling objects
Manual Handling in the office
Examples of manual handling tasks in the office include:
- Lifting and moving boxes
- Changing water cooler bottles
- Carrying training materials
- Printing large amounts of work
- Using trolleys
Preventing Manual Handling injuries
One or more of the following must be used to eliminate the risk or if this is not reasonably practicable, to minimise the risks by
1. Altering the workplace:- For example, use an adjustable platform to reduce stooping
2. Altering the environmental conditions, including heat and cold and vibration.
3. Altering the work organisation or systems of work.
4. Modifying items used or substituting items:- For example, change the shape of bulky objects so that they are easier to hold, or pack products in smaller cartons.
5. Using aids designed to assist in manual handling
6. Providing information, training, instruction and supervision in task specific method for performing a manual task, personal protective equipment or a combination of these.
Note: The methods used in 6 should only be used as the sole means of controlling the risk where it can be demonstrated that it not reasonably practicalable to achieve risk control by the use of 1-5