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Jobsearch Manual Handling Techniques




More time is lost from work due to strain injuries; particularly back pain, than any other cause. Most of these injuries can be avoided if the method of carrying out various tasks is examined and ergonomic principles are adopted.

Mechanical aids and the assistance of a trained operative must be used wherever possible and no load must be lifted which is likely to cause serious injury due to weight, bulkiness, changing centre of gravity or awkward shape.

Jobsearch have therefore designed and constructed the following guidelines for temporary employees to be as far as practicable safe and without risk to health and safety whilst employed at our client’s premises.

When lifting an object always:

  • Stop and Think: Plan the lift. Where is the load to be placed? Use appropriate handling aids if possible. Do you need help with the load?

  • Remove obstructions such as discarded wrapping materials. For a long lift, such as floor to shoulder height, consider resting the load mid-way on the table or bench in order to change grip.

  • Position the Feet : Feet apart, giving balance and stable base for lifting (tight clothing and unsuitable footwear may make this difficult). Leading leg as far forward as is comfortable. 

  • Adopt a good posture : When lifting from a low level, bend the knees. But do not kneel or over flex the knees. Keep the back straight (tucking in the chin helps). Lean forward a little over the load if necessary to get a good grip. Keep the shoulders level and facing in the same direction as the hips.

  • Get a firm grip : Try to keep the arms within the boundary formed by the legs. The best position and type of grip depends on the circumstances and individual preference; but it must be secure. A hook grip is less tiring than keeping the fingers straight. Use the whole hand, not just the fingers. Keep the elbows well tucked in. If you need to vary the grip as the lift proceeds, do it as smoothly as possible.

  • Keep close to the load : Keep the load close to the trunk for as long as possible. Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the trunk. If a close approach to the load is not possible, slide it towards you before trying to lift.

  • Don’t jerk ; Lift smoothly, using the legs, in a smoothly controlled manner, raising the load, and move in a forward direction keeping control of the load.

  • Move the feet : Don’t twist the trunk when turning to the side.

  • Reverse the above procedure when setting the load down, taking care not to trap the fingers.

  • Put down … then adjust : If precise positioning of the load is necessary, put it down first, then slide it into the desired position.
  • Loads should not be pushed onto stacks above chest level. If a stack is high, stand on a sturdy platform, to enable the action to be carried out safely.
  • Co-operate with your employer on matters of health and safety.
  • Inform the employer if you identify hazardous handling activities
  • Take care to ensure that your activities do not put others at risk.
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