Manual Handling Guidance (Workplace Regulations 1992)
he Workplace Regulations 1992 define manual handling as any operation where a load is moved by bodily force: this includes picking up, putting down, carrying, supporting and pushing.
Every employee has a responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their activities, and also to co-operate with their duties.
A: STOP AND THINK
Plan the lift. Where is the load to be placed? Use appropriate handling aids if possible. Do you need help with the load? Remove obstructions such as discarded wrapping material. For a long lift, such as floor to shoulder height, consider resting the load mid-way on a table or bench in order to change grip.
B: POSITION THE FEET
Feet apart, giving a balanced and stable base for lifting (unsuitable footwear make this difficult). Leaning leg as far forward as is comfortable
C: ADOPT A GOOD POSTURE
When lifting from a low level, bend the knees. But do not kneel or over flex the knees. Keep the back straight (tucking in the chin helps) lean forward a little over the load if necessary to get a good grip. Keep the shoulders level and facing the same direction if the hips.
D: GET A FIRM GRIP
Try to keep the arms within the boundary formed by the legs. The best position and type of grip depends on the circumstances and individual preference but it must be secure. A hook grip is less tiring than trying to keep the fingers straight. If you need to vary the grip as the lift proceeds, do it as smoothly as possible.
E: KEEP CLOSE TO THE LOAD
Keep the load close to the truck for as long as possible. Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the trunk. If a close approach to the load is not possible, slide it towards you before trying to lift. Don’t jerk - lift smoothly, keeping control of the load. Move the feet - Don’t twist the trunk when turning to the side.
F: PUT DOWN, THEN ADJUST
If precise positioning of the load is necessary, put it down first, then slide into the desired position.