It is estimated that workplace injuries cause about a third of injuries that occur at the workplace. These injuries include work-related musculoskeletal disorders like injuries and pain to the legs, arms, and joints. Also, you can suffer from repetitive strain injuries of different forms. Manual handling covers various tasks that include lowering, lifting, pulling, carrying, and pushing. If the tasks are not carried out properly, there is a huge risk of injury. Therefore, manual handling training is necessary at the workplace.
The truth is that manual handling injuries can have serious consequences for the person injured or the employer. For instance, they can occur in any given workplace. You should note that awkward postures, manual labor, and repetitive movement of the arms and legs can increase the risk of injury.
To prevent manual handling injuries, there is a need to avoid such tasks where possible. However, where manual handling cannot be avoided, employers ought to look at risks of the task and put sensible safety and health measures to avoid and prevent injury. For any lifting activity, it is paramount to note individual capability, nature of the load, training, work organization, and environmental conditions. The following are things to do before and during manual handling.
Think Before Handling
You need to plan the handling or lifting. Is there a need to use appropriate handling aids? Where are you going to place the load? Is help required with the load? You need to remove any obstruction like discarded wrapping materials on your way. For long lifts, you ought to consider resting the load on a bench or table to change the grip.
Adopt a Stable Position
Ensure your feet are placed apart with one leg slightly ahead. This will ensure you maintain the required balance. Also, be ready to move the feet during the lift so that you can maintain your stability. You should avoid tight clothing or even unsuitable footwear that makes it difficult for you.
Start with Good Posture
Whenever possible, you should hug the load as close to your body as possible. This is much better than gripping it with your hands only.
Avoid Twisting Your Body
You should avoid bending or leaning sideways when the back is bent. Ensure the shoulders are kept level facing the same direction just like the hips. Avoid jerking the load as this can make it difficult to control and even increase the risk of injury. Never lift or even handle more than you can easily manage. There is a huge difference between what people can lift safely and what they cannot.