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Manual Handling FAQs

Mandatory compliance training is a type of training that is mandatory by law, regulation, or industry standards. It is designed to ensure that individuals working in the care sector follow specific policies, procedures, and standards. This type of training usually covers a range of subjects that are crucial for providing high-quality, safe, and compassionate care to patients. These subjects could include topics such as health and safety, infection control, equality and diversity, safeguarding, and other related areas.

The aim of mandatory compliance training is to make sure that care workers have a basic understanding of the policies, procedures, and regulations that they must abide by in their line of work. The training helps to ensure that care workers possess the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their job duties safely, competently, and ethically.

The best way to control handling yourself is to reduce the need to lift loads as much as you can. If you do need to lift anything, then follow the guidance set out in manual handling techniques and use any appropriate equipment or tools that you have been provided with by your employer.

The best way to reduce the risk of injury to employees within a workplace is to minimise the amount of manual handling that they do. However, if manual handling is still required then changes to deadlines and work routines should be implemented. This means that there is less chance that the person lifting will rush the process and there should not be a need for an excessive work rate.

Another way to reduce risk is to improve the working environment. There should be a focus on maximum space, with better flooring and extra lighting too.

Of course, the best way to reduce the risk of manual handling is to provide correct training for anyone who is likely to need to lift anything. Therefore they are given the tools and knowledge to do it safely themselves.

There are four types of safety signs in the workplace. Red is danger, yellow is warning, blue is mandatory and green is an emergency escape, first aid or no danger. These signs should be displayed around the workplace where appropriate and with manual handling they should show the mandatory way that the loads should be lifted in order to keep employees safe.

It is thought that incorrect manual handling is the cause of around a third of all the injuries that occur in the workplace. The three most common injuries are musculoskeletal disorders, back injuries and repetitive strain injuries too.

In order to ensure that you are safely lifting whilst you are at work you need to keep the load that you are lifting as close to your body as possible. If the load is not even, then you need to keep the heaviest side next to your body.

You should always avoid twisting your back, or leaning sideways and you should always bend and lift from your legs rather than lifting with your back.

There are a variety of injuries that can occur due to improper manual handling. These can vary depending on what is being lifted and how heavy it is.

The most common injuries that can occur from manual handling include sprains, strains, back injuries, soft tissue injuries to arms, shoulders, legs, neck and wrists. Other possible injuries can be hernias and chronic pain.

There are three main points to remember when you are lifting from a lower level.

  • Have a firm grip
  • Bend your knees
  • Shoulders level and back straight

One of the most important reasons to have manual handling training in a workplace is because it gives employees the skills that they need in order to safely undertake any manual handling tasks that they may have to face. That way their risk of injury will be greatly reduced.

Whilst you can make sure that you safely lift objects or loads in the workplace, the first rule of manual handling is often to try and find a way that will avoid the need for manual handling in the first place.

In order to safely lift something, there are four main steps that you need to take.

The first is to keep a wide base as this will maximise the support that you have. You then need to squat down, bending at the hips and the knees only. You need to lift slowly, straightening your hips and knees, then you need to keep the load close to your body, aiming for the level of your belly button.

When it comes to manual handling there are a variety of correct techniques that you should use in order to minimise your risk of injury. You want to avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways, particularly if you have your back bent.

You should keep your shoulders level and you should always face the same direction as your hips. In order to turn you should always move your feet rather than twisting and lifting at the same time.

Your head should always be up.

The MAC is a tool that helps users to identify which workplace manual handling activities can pose the biggest risk. Both employers and safety representatives can use MAC as a tool to assess where there are risks posed by carrying, lifting and moving any loads within the workplace.

If you have been sent on a manual handling course, or you are organising one for your staff then you will want to know how long it will last. Depending on the delivery of the course you can expect it to last anywhere between two and four hours.

In order to protect those who are responsible for moving loads in a workplace from injury, the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 was created. The Regulations required employers to:

  • Carry out a risk assessment to establish the risk that exist from any manual handling operations in the workplace
  • Implement alternative methods that will reduce the risks
  • Provide essential equipment that can be used to assist with manual handling
  • Provide training for all staff in order to minimise their risk of injury
  • Assess whether or not there have been any evidence of upper limb disorders in the workplace and then find a way to minimise this

The definition of manual handling is when you are transporting or supporting a load either by hand or another bodily force. This load could be an object, it could be an animal or it could even be another person.

You may be lifting the load, putting it down, pushing or pulling it or carrying it to another location.

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