Safety Spotlight – Manual Handling and Physical Activity

As part of October’s Hazard of the Month, we’re shining a spotlight on two key areas: Manual Handling and Physical Activity.

Manual Handling

Any worker, no matter the working environment they’re in, may have to undertake manual handling tasks. Any task that involves using bodily force to move an object, so everyone can benefit from learning how to do so safely. Manual handling injuries can also have a huge impact on businesses – in 2019/20, 8.9 million working days were lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders!

Employers have a legal responsibility to protect their workers from the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling in the workplace. The law states that employers must deal with risks from manual handling by:

  • Avoiding hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable
  • Assessing the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided
  • Reducing the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling to as low as reasonably practicable

Avoiding Hazardous Manual Handling

Hazardous manual handling operations can be avoided by automating or mechanising the process or redesigning the task to avoid moving the load altogether. Avoiding manual handling tasks is always the ideal option if possible.

Assessing Unavoidable Manual Handling 

When you assess the risk of injury from unavoidable manual handling operations, you should consider the task, the load, the working environment and individual capability of the person carrying out the activity. You should also consider the appropriate level of assessment for each activity – formal risk assessments may be necessary for high-risk handling operations.

Reduce The Risk Of Injury

Ideally, the best way to reduce risk of injury is to provide mechanical assistance, such as a hoist or trolley. However if this is not possible then you could consider changing the load (e.g. breaking it up into smaller loads), task (e.g. avoid tight deadlines), or working environment (e.g. improve space, lighting and temperature).

Ensure your workers have an awareness of safe manual handling practices with our Manual Handling E-Learning course – this course is suitable for all types of workers, especially those in low risk environment who may have daily tasks that involve moving loads, and covers common injuries, risk assessments, mechanical aids and more. Get 10% off this course with the code ‘manualhandling10’!

Collage of different people exercisingPhysical Activity

Everyone can benefit from a healthy lifestyle, and physical activity is a great way to improve both your physical and mental health and wellbeing!

Not moving enough during the day has become more common in our modern world, with many workplaces having sedentary office-based roles. Shockingly, over a quarter of the world’s adult population (1.4 billion adults) are insufficiently active, with no improvements seen in global levels of physical activity since 2001!

Not getting enough exercise can increase your risk of:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Being physically active can help to reduce these risks and also has many benefits, such as:

  • Reduced risk of colon and breast cancers
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis through strengthening of your bones
  • Improved cognitive and social functioning
  • Better sleep patterns
  • Reduced risk of depression

Organisations will see the benefit of supporting their workers in learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as this can lead to a reduction in sick days taken and an increase in productivity and overall happiness.

Help your workers achieve a healthy lifestyle with our Physical Activity E-Learning course! Suitable for all employees in any organisation, This course covers the different types of physical activity available, how much you should do each week, and how to fit your goals into a busy working lifestyle – helping learners to find the exercise that’s right for them. Get 10% off this course with the code ‘manualhandling10’!

Manual Handling Awareness and Physical Activity work in tangent to keep employees healthy and safe in all workplaces! Make sure you don’t miss out on our 10% off deal on these essential safety courses, available until the end of October. Simply enter the code ‘manualhandling10’ at checkout!

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