Manual handling means when we use our body to lift, lower, pull, empty, or carry loads. The job that involves manual material handling may include the high risk of injuries. In the moving process everyone must be aware of the theory and the practice of safe manual handling because incorrect manual handling is a common cause of injuries, lower back pain, neck pain etc.
Below are 5 tips to avoid injuries when you are involved in any type of manual handling in the moving process.
Plan and check for danger
To avoid manual handling injuries always plan before doing any action for example always consider the weights and heights from where a load must be picked up and consider the distances involved. Always lift the load that you can manage safely.
A danger is a feature of task or environment (e.g. wet floors, uneven work surfaces, inadequate lighting) that may lead to harm to a person who is lifting a load or other people around. So before handling, danger assessment is most important to manage the hazard and to reduce the incidents.
Check your route
Before lifting or carrying loads always remove the obstructions form the route to make sure that your route is clear. For the long distances plan to rest the load midway on a bench or table to change the grip. Choose a clear path to avoid slip, trip and fall hazards.
In the moving process when you are lifting and carrying a load, you can prevent or reduce the chance of injuries by clearing your route.
Maintain a good posture
When you are lifting a load, the safe zone is between your knees and shoulders. It is important to maintain a good posture while manual handling to reduce the injuries. Always bend your hips and knees to squat down to your load and straighten your legs to lift the load.
To reduce back pain or back injuries always look straight ahead and keep your back straight with your chest out and your shoulders back. This will help you to keep your upper back straight while having a slight bend in your lower back.
Avoid twisting and keep the load close to your waist
During manual handling of loads you have to move smoothly; the load should not be jerked as it helps you to keep a good control on the lift. Avoid turning or twisting your body when you are lifting or holding a heavy object. Keep your shoulders level and facing in the same direction as your hips.
To reduce injuries always keep the load close to your waist by keeping heaviest side of the load next to your body. Use your feet to move.
Wear your PPE (personal protective equipment):
PPE is an equipment or clothing that will help to reduce the risk of injury. Before starting work always check you have been issued with the right PPE and make sure you wear it every time you do manual handling.
Wearing gloves and safety boots will help you to protect against cuts and crushed toes etc. wear nose, eyes, and mouth protection where dust and fumes might be a hazard while moving.
In conclusion, safety is the key to prevent the manual handling injuries while moving. If the injury happens, it is also important to find the causes of the injury to prevent the injuries occurring again. You can reduce the risk of injuries by following these five basic tips mentioned above.
Happy moving everyone.