Getting to Grips with Manual Handling


Author : Molokini

Manual handling accounts for 1700 acute injuries each year* in the food and drink sector.  To tackle this, RTITB, the preferred workplace transport training regulatory body, is offering advice to help employers improve their manual handling processes, increase safety and boost efficiency.

What is manual handling?                             

The term manual handling refers to lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying loads.  Although they may vary throughout the food and drink supply chain, unless manual handling activities within the workforce are managed correctly, they can cause injuries by putting a strain on the limbs, tendons, heart and, most commonly, the muscles and back.

“There can be a misconception among both employers and staff that manual handling is just about how to pick up a heavy box,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director at RTITB.  “However, this is just one part of manual handling processes that employers should tackle to improve productivity and safety in their food and drink operations.”

Three steps to safety

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) 1992 (as amended 2002)** outline a recommended three-step approach for companies, which is to Avoid manual handling by implementing automated processes where possible, Assess the risk of injury where it cannot be avoided and Reduce the risk as far as possible.

Successfully implementing the right equipment within the workplace can help to significantly reduce the risk of injury.  Mechanised or automated handling equipment can also speed up operations and boost overall productivity.  Coupled with an improvement in physical wellbeing, this can also help increase staff morale. However, if employers are investing in equipment, sufficient training must be delivered to ensure safety. 

Why training matters

Training is a valuable preventative measure for ensuring that employees are able to perform daily tasks correctly and safely and is an effective way for companies to enforce safety regulations and practices. Employers have a legal obligation to provide the required staff training for any job, and this extends to educating employees in manual handling.

“Legal compliance is just one of the advantages of implementing manual handling training,” explains Laura.  “As well as improving staff wellbeing, we’ve also found that it can reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.”

Select the right training

“To ensure that any training implemented has maximum impact, employers should look at what the training course covers and consider this against their business needs,” says Laura. “The ‘Assessment’ part of the HSE’s guidance is key for employers in identifying what these needs are.”

For example, a production operation where employees are lifting heavy sacks of sugar will have different training needs to a warehousing operation where trolleys of food are being pushed and pulled.  Training which is matched to the specific needs of food and drink supply chain operations will prove most effective in encouraging safety and improving business efficiency.

Implementing solutions

There is no one size fits all approach to tackling issues around manual handling and the right solution will differ between businesses.  However, RTITB recommends assessing and addressing the most serious risks as a priority.

“Through a combination of appropriate equipment, a sufficient level of training and continued supervision employers can improve safety and productivity in their manual handling operations,” says Laura. “The HSE provides lots of extremely useful guidance to help employers in the food and drink industry get started.”

The free HSE booklet ‘Moving Food and Drink: Manual handling solutions for the food and drink industry’ may be a useful resource for employers to download: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg196.htm

Or, for further information on how RTITB can support your food and drink supply chain requirements, contact Jane Hugheson +44(0)1952 520207.

*SOURCE: http://www.hse.gov.uk/food/handling.htm

**Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) 1992 (as amended 2002) - http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/backpain/employers/mhor.htm

Latest Client News

How to hold your own wine...

//20/02/2018

With ‘Dry January’ over, it’s the perfect time to discover why staying in is the new going out. So why not sample the nation’s favourite tipple* and hold a wine tasting at home?

RTITB Event to Help Training...

//19/02/2018

With new data protection laws on the horizon, RTITB is hosting an event to help logistics and transport training providers ensure that they comply.

Industry leaders get behind...

//15/02/2018

As the Talent in Logistics Conference and Awards 2018 approaches, more transport and logistics industry leaders have confirmed their involvement in the event.

Lift truck training goes...

//12/02/2018

RTITB is set to transform the future of materials handling equipment training and assessments with the launch of MyRTITB TrainingFriend PRO – an Android app which makes the training administration and testing process completely paperless for the very first time.

Genera Industrial Appointed...

//09/02/2018

Genera Industrial is now the exclusive dealer for Hyster® lift trucks in Spain. Owned by multinational organization GAM Group, Genera Industrial will support the full Hyster® range of lifting equipment nationwide.

360 Degree Solutions from...

01/01/1970

At LogiMAT in Stuttgart, Germany from 13-15 March, Hyster Europe will be showcasing its full range of solutions for warehousing and logistics, from ship to store to factory floor.

Latest Molokini News

Molokini Takes to Twitter and...

01/01/1970

On the 1st February, the Molokini Marketing team set up a live Twitter board at the Worthing Assembly Hall on behalf of Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce to showcase the buzzing businesses at the Better Business Event 2018. 

Stopham Vineyard Launches...

01/01/1970

Stopham Vineyard (founded in 2007 when winemaker Simon Woodhead planted 21,000 vines across 15-acres in Sussex) unveiled a brand-new website early this year, designed and built by Molokini Marketing. 

Logistics and Transport...

01/01/1970

To get your year off to a flying start in 2018, you may be thinking about attending materials handling, manufacturing, transport or shipping industry trade shows and forums.

Molokini Site Wins ‘Website...

01/01/1970

Luxury Swimming Pool & Spa company Guncast took home the coveted title of ‘Website of the Year’ at this year’s UK Pool & Spa Awards, which were held on the 4th December at The Vox Conference Centre, for a website built earlier this year by Worthing marketing agency, Molokini Marketing.

PR trends to look out for in...

//04/12/2017

As the year draws to a close, Molokini’s PR experts are looking ahead to 2018’s PR trends. But first, what were the top PR trends this year?

Materials Handling...

//31/10/2017

Although we’re fast approaching the end of 2017, there is still a range of events for the materials handling, manufacturing, ports and shipping industry taking place.