Manual Handling is handling loads using physical effort. It includes lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, moving, etc.                                     

Which activity is more serious: Lifting from the ground is more serious than lifting from a table, Lifting & Carrying are more serious than pushing or pulling, Pushing is more serious than pulling, Side pushing or pulling is more serious than in & out pushing & pulling and Pushing or pulling is more serious if it is above or below waist level.

Factors affecting manual handling risk: Load, Individual, Task, Environment.

Manual handling Controls:

Automation: Lift trucks, Robots, Automated warehousing, Conveyor. systems, Bionic arms, Scissor lifts, Cranes.

Mechanization: Pallet trucks, Barrows, Trolleys.

Work routine: Reducing repetitive operations to allow variation in movement and posture, by such means as introducing breaks & job rotation.

 Task Layout: Adjusting the order of tasks performed to minimise the number of operations involving lifting and carrying loads.

Using teams: Sharing the load by using teams of workers to carry out the task However, the co-ordination required brings its own risks.

Modifying the Load weight and size: Breaking up loads so that individual items are lighter and / or smaller However, this may mean that more handling operations are necessary with more repetition of task.

Making the load more stable and rigid: Flexible containers, such as sacks, should be avoided where possible.                                                                 

Making the load less damaging to hold: Surfaces of the load to be clean, smooth, not slippery and in the case of hot or cold items to be held in insulated containers.

Making the load easier to grasp: Where it is not possible to make the load smaller, hand grips or handles may need to be provided.

Markings of the load: Approximate weight and centre of gravity, Special requirements such as which way up to hold and stack the load, Warnings about instability.

Workstation design: Access to the load being handled and any equipment used during the operation should be as comfortable as possible.

Reorganising the Work Environment: There should be adequate space for all movements involved, including allowance for variations in movement and individual flexibility. Floor to be non-slippery, undamaged, levelled. Avoid poor lighting, excessive lighting or sudden variations in lighting.          

Individual Considerations: Consider employees with temporary or permanent health problems, Consider pregnant women or new mothers.

Appropriate instruction and training: Should be provided & should be closely related to a person’s job. Training should include theoretical and practical supervised sessions using typical loads in working conditions.

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