Manual handling is a term that refers to physical activity that takes place on a job that requires manual labour such as a construction job or working on a farm. The activity can include climbing, moving, lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, holding, pivoting or restraining inanimate objects, such as boxes, or animate beings, such as sheep. Manual handling training is the procedures learned to accomplish manual handling successfully.
When the physical activity is performed unsuccessfully, workers are at risk for fatigue and injury (especially to the back and shoulders) and in some cases, death. The more workers injured on manual labour jobs, the more strain is put on worker’s compensation and disability leave.
Manual handling training will also look at other factors.
For example, the importance of risk assessment for employers and employees is a focus. Do the objects in question need to be moved and if so, should they be moved with mechanical assistance? If manual handling is the only alternative for a business, can the objects be broken down into smaller groups to make moving them more accessible? Does the environment need to be improved for better manual handling, such as enhanced lighting or space clearance?
The bulk of manual handling training will include what to do with the body in situations where lifting, pushing, pulling, etc., are necessary. The training teaches employers and their workers how to reduce injury from happening by moving their bodies correctly. Some of the training would include:
Lifting an Object
Lifting improperly is a sure way to injure the shoulders and the back. The training would focus on ways to reduce the pressure on the back and shoulders by keeping the objects close to the body and near the individual’s centre of gravity and by lifting objects using the legs rather than the back. It would focus on not lifting heavy objects from the floor or above shoulder height.
Pushing or Pulling an Object
Often in jobs that require manual labour, an object must be pushed or pulled. As with lifting, injury to the back and shoulders is common when the movement is done incorrectly. The training would focus on using the arms and the legs to push and pull, rather than putting pressure on the back.
Pivoting an Object
To lower back is easily injured when it is compromised by twisting. Training would focus on pivoting the shoulders, hip, and feet while positioning oneself behind the object. The back should never be twisted to rotate an object.
The only way to get adequate manual handling training is to work with a company that specializes. Backsafe, a safety professional manual handling training group with 25 years of experience and affiliated with iAscend, a nationally registered training organization, can give your company or group the knowledge it needs to keep people safe. We at Backsafe deliver the training in the most effective way possible – on-site and face to face.
We take care of manual handling training in major cities in Australia and the Pacific region such as Melbourne and Sydney. Each of our instructions is tailored to fit your company’s needs and goals and can be done during the day or night, whatever suits your company’s schedule.
Backsafe follows an exact procedure before carrying out any of our training programs. First, there is a phone consultation to discuss your preliminary needs. We want to know who your most vulnerable workers are so that we can get them in our first round of training known as our Backsafe Level 1. Before the education occurs, we arrive at your site early to look over your facility, review your company’s tasks that involve manual training and decide how best to meet your needs with our Backsafe Level 1 program. The sessions are done in groups of up to 20 people at a time and take 100 to 120 minutes to complete.
Our revision and maintenance program, carried out 3 to 12 months after Backsafe 1, is our Backsafe Level 2, which takes 90 to 100 minutes to complete. Because Backsafe programs are not one-size-fits-all, we determine the cost of our training programs by an application. With also offer reduced rates for not-for-profit community organizations. Contact Backsafe for a proposal to get started on effective manual handling training for your company or group.