7 ways to reduce manual handling risks
To reduce manual handling risks in manufacturing environments, there are several strategies employers can implement, including:
1. Use mechanical aids
Incorporating appropriate mechanical aids into your process can make tasks easier on staff, i.e., lifting equipment to take the weight when lifting load or electric tugs to take the strain out of moving wheeled loads.
2. Identify any hazards with a manual handling risk assessment
Regularly reviewing your processes and tasks with employees will help identify manual handling tasks with a higher risk of injury.
3. Proper job design
This involves ensuring that jobs and work processes are designed with safety at the forefront and avoid manual handling where possible.
4. Appropriate manual handling training
Ensure employees receive adequate training for each task, how to carry out manual handling activities safely and on correct manual handling techniques.
5. Keeping track of workloads
Monitor how much each worker is doing and what tasks involve manual handling and excessive physical exertion.
6. Regular breaks
Give employees scheduled breaks throughout their shifts, so they have time to rest between tasks.
7. Assess individual abilities
Evaluate each employee’s capabilities during risk assessments so you know if particular staff members require additional support/mechanical aids when performing specific tasks or if they are at higher risk of injury.