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What is a manual handling risk assessment?
Manual handling risk covers a wide range of activities including lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, throwing and carrying. It includes repetitive tasks such as packing, typing, assembling, cleaning and sorting, using hand-tools, and operating machinery and equipment.
Most jobs involve some form of manual handling. Most workers are at risk of manual handling injury. Of course, not all manual handling tasks are hazardous. But it is significant that around a quarter of all workplace injuries are caused by manual handling.
Employers have duties under the regulations to protect their employees from the risk of Manual handling. These duties extend to any contractors and their employees. The regulations require you to:
- Identify the tasks in your workplace that involve hazardous manual handling
- Assess the risk of manual handling associated with these tasks
- Eliminate the risk of manual handling or if this is not practicable reduce the risk.
Benchmark OHS Consulting can assist in providing the necessary consultancy services in conducting a formal Manual Handling Risk Assessment on specific activities involving hazardous manual handling.
The purpose is to determine the level of risk using specific Manual Handling Risk Assessment sheets. Then identifying the risk control measures which is based on a hazard control hierarchy of:
- Elimination of the need for manual handling through task redesign
- Provision of manual handling aids, e.g. mechanical assistance, lifting equipment
- Shared Lifting/Manual Handling
- Training in Correct Manual Handling Techniques and Procedures
- Provision of Personal Protective Equipment.