The latest advice issued by the HSE earlier this year states that research has shown that general training in lifting techniques is an ineffective way of controlling the risk of manual handling at work.
The overall aim is to avoid and reduce manual handling by starting with re-organising and re-designing working practices prior to introducing training.
The HSE also advises, that should manual handling training be required, it should be customised and professionally delivered, and be based on observations of current working practices with shared views and experience of those employees at risk. As a result, off-the-shelf manual handling training should be replaced with these methods.
The new advice ‘Getting help with manual handling risks in your business’ published online by the HSE covers:
A comprehensive approach to managing MSD risks
MSD risk assessment
Workplace organisation and design changes
Changing attitudes, behaviours and providing tailored training
Steps for employers:
Review the new online advice ‘Getting help with manual handling risks in your business’ (http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/external-help.htm)and consider how it applies to your Practice.
Identify all work activities which put employees at risk of manual handling injuries and complete risk assessments.
Include control measures which also take into account re-organising and re-designing working practices, followed by bespoke manual handling training.