Manual handling operations are subject to the Manual Handling Operations 1992. Guidance for managers and local safety officers on implementing these is contained in the University Policy on Safety in Manual Handling .
Guidance for staff, who carry out manual handling activities, is contained in this leaflet.
Manual handling relates to the moving of items either by lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing or pulling. But it's not just a case of 'pulling something' due to the weight of the item, although this can be a cause of injury. Injuries can be caused because of the number of times you have to pick up or carry an item, the distance you are carrying it, the height you are picking it up from or putting it down at (picking it up from the floor, putting it on a shelf above shoulder level) and any twisting, bending stretching or other awkward posture you may get in whilst doing a task.
Manual handling is one of the most common causes of injury at work and causes over a third of all workplace injuries which include work related Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) such as upper and lower limb pain/disorders or joint and repetitive strain injuries.
Work related manual handling injuries can have serious implications for both the employer and the person who has been injured. The injured person may find that their ability to do their job is affected and there may be an impact on their lifestyle, leisure activities, ability to sleep and future job prospects.
It is essential therefore that Schools/Departments manage the risks to their members. Where tasks are essential and cannot be done using lifting equipment, conveyors or wheeled trollies/cages, a suitable and sufficient risk assessment should be conducted. Training is also a crucial element in the strategy to minimise injuries from manual handling.
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