Call me back

No Uplift To Manual Handling Lack Of Training Or Risk Assessment In the Workplace.

17th December 2013
It might be imagined that there are few accident claims and injury compensation for manual handling incidents in the workplace. Awareness of how easy it is for a spinal injury to occur generally informs instant decisions to not attempt any lifting where there is the slightest risk of “putting your back out.”

Yet, between 2011 and 12, of the 111,164 non-fatal injuries and 88,731 over-3-day injuries to employees reported, nearly a third were the result of the most common type of accident, i.e. those caused by handling, lifting or carrying.

Just within the health and social care services, 2 in 5 of work-related sickness were caused by ‘moving and handling’ accidents, or a total of around 5,000 moving and handling injuries reported each year. Yet often the root causes of inadequate risk assessment and employee training can be found right across all industry sectors.

Health and Safety challenge

Moving large, heavy machinery can be a health and safety challenge at the best of times, even for a removals company. The latest example of where lack of proper risk assessment and staff training were judged to be responsible for causing a serious injury took place at the Bedford premises of a motor spares company.

During the moving process a 75kg steel fly press fell over and struck a 28 year old male who was part of a three man crew from a national removals firm, causing a fracture to the left leg and deep cuts to the right leg.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found both risk assessment for the particular job and staff training in manual handling had been insufficient.

Admitting to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 before Bedford Magistrates, the removals company was fined a total of £13,524 including costs.

Necessary procedures

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations 2007, provide clear instructions for the necessary procedures required to be implemented when manual handling takes place in the workplace, including:

• Carrying out a risk assessment of existing manual handling procedures before making an informed decision on which actions need to be avoided or reduced.
• Evaluation of tasks, which can be carried out by mechanical or other means or by improving the layout of a work area to reduce unnecessary long carrying distances.
• Providing adequate and relevant staff training and instruction.