The Hazards within the Manual Handling Process

DOI : 10.17577/

Manual handling is an integral part of so many industries, yet the associated hazards are never discussed enough. There are lots of things that can go right if assessed professionally, but the risks are still there to be managed and mitigated regardless of how many combative policies are established and implemented. This is a discussion of common concerns within manual handling, and all the ways they can be successfully counteracted.

File:Manual handling training.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Personal Injury

The top threat to employees carrying out manual handling continues to be personal injury. This not only puts them at risk but the entire operation as well. There are lots of ways that physical health can be affected including slip and fall injuries, pulled muscles, broken bones, concussions, and even loss of limb. This needs to be managed in a strategic way by ensuring proper supervision, involved management engagement, sufficient and ongoing training, and improving the work environment conditions.

Lack of Training

The biggest cause of employee injury in the workplace is often a lack of useful training. Directing employees to the correct information about their role is essential, and something that is often pushed to the bottom of the list in a fast-paced manual handling environment. There will always be an obligation to fulfill initial training during the onboarding process, but too often employee experience is accepted as sufficient enough means to carry out the role professionally and safely. This is unrealistic, and ongoing training is always needed to ensure the environment continues to be fully informed and safety focused.

Machinery Defects

Machinery defects and poor maintenance schedules make it harder to complete tasks and increase the likelihood that an incident will take place. Heavy equipment is necessary for moving goods, but it is how these are looked after that will determine exactly how safe the daily operation is as well. There is a pressing need for a regular maintenance and inspection schedule so that any problem that does come along is highlighted and appropriate action can be taken. Top solutions include establishing reliable relationships with suppliers, and ensuring it is a good fit. There are benefits to niche suppliers that will be able to provide specific interventions like this Missouri Komatsu forklift and parts dealer so that you are covered if and when the time calls for it.

Neglected Safety Precautions

These environments will also need a precise, clear, and informed Health and Safety policy in all areas. The importance of this is self-explanatory, but the risks of never updating strategies are all too real. Moving with the times should be a key objective and ensuring that the latest information is used to shape upgrades to any safety procedures within the work environment is just non-negotiable.

Cluttered Environment

Another major hazard in manual handling arenas is a cluttered environment. A workspace that is messy, disorganized, and filled with unnecessary debris will always pose a threat to employees and management. This can be successfully mitigated with professional cleaning schedules, regular space assessments, and strict protocols regarding storage and separation.

The hazards within the manual handling process are all too real. When left unaddressed there is not only a risk to employee well-being, but an overarching threat to the integrity of an operation as well.