Manual Handling For Novices: What You Need To Know

Manual handling is a huge part of working in construction. The term refers to lifting or moving a load using your hands or bodily force. Whilst it will be a part of your job to be trained on health and safety, there will still be other steps you should consider. This article will go over some steps to staying safe when manual handling and other key information that you should know.

Assess the object 

A lot of workers are accustomed to working quickly to get the job done and move on. While is speed is an admirable trait most of the time, you need to slow down when it comes to manual handling.  

Some objects may be lighter or heavier than you anticipated, and applying the wrong amount of strength can lead to injury. Take the time to assess any objects you need to move before you attempt a lift. It would benefit you to push the object first to judge its weight so you know the amount of strength you’ll need. Remember to bend your knees the right way to protect your back.

Remember your training 

All jobs should make it clear on the health and safety guidelines. An employer will have a legal obligation to do this, as they have to be responsible for their health and safety whilst at the workplace. This training might reference obvious safety measures, or it could prepare you to use some heavy machinery properly. Either way, you must pay attention during all of your training to know exactly how to work efficiently and safely. 

It is the same with manual handling. You should be briefed if you are expected to lift heavy objects yourself. If you have been injured at work due to manual handling and it wasn’t your fault, then you may be put out of work for a while.

You may even have a long-term injury as a result. This can impact you financially and cause you stress and anxiety on top of your physical injury. You can seek fair compensation through government schemes or from accredited injury at work solicitors. Experts such as PSR Solicitors can help with accident at work claims, as they have years of experience with success. If you believe you were injured at no fault of your own, you will be owed compensation.

Be prepared to stop 

Over-exerting yourself is a common way to get hurt. A heavy object may be required in another location quickly for the job to continue, but this does not mean that you should rush. 

The most important thing is that you do a job safely and within your own means. You may feel the need to stop when in the process of manual handling, and it is perfectly fine. Only you can assess whether or not the lift is safe, so don’t be afraid to stop to re-adjust or get your strength back. 

Stay close 

Injuries that occur during manual handling jobs affect the spine more than any other body part. You can prevent this type of injury by lifting with your knees and also by keeping the object as close to your body as possible. 

Holding heavy objects as close to your chest as possible decreases the chance of your body becoming overbalanced. What’s more, this approach keeps you back straight and under less pressure. 

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