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MANUAL HANDLING Induction training

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Manual handling

Manual Handling 

Manual handling is lifting and moving things. Heavy and bulky items are moved around our shops every day. Reduce the risk of injury by following good practice when lifting and carrying. Gripper gloves must be used. 

Manual handling activities include: 

▪ Lifting 
▪ Lowering 
▪ Pushing and pulling 
▪ Carrying 

Lifting techniques 

Lifting objects in the correct way reduces the risk of injury to yourself or your colleagues. There are several techniques listed on the ‘Manual Handling’ poster that you can use for different situations such as:

▪ One-person standard lift 
▪ One-person alternative lift 
▪ Carrying and unloading 
▪ Lifting up and lifting down 
▪ Teamwork lifting 
▪ Lifting awkward objects 
▪ Pushing and pulling 
▪ Carrying up and down stairs. 

Stay safe tips

Wherever possible you must act to prevent accidents and injuries from happening. A few tips to follow are:

▪ Wear suitable clothing. Shoes and boots should provide protection and ideally have non-slip soles
▪ Examine the object BEFORE you move it, check is it stable? Are there any sharp edges or splinters? Would it be better to split the load? 
▪ Plan your route – is it clear? 
▪ Check are there steps or slopes to be aware of? 
▪ Ask for help or advice if required 
▪ Vary your tasks throughout the day to reduce fatigue 
▪ Wear gripper gloves to prevent items dropping or slipping and so prevent accidents.

One Person Standard Lift

▪ Plan it out first 
▪ Where is the load going to be placed? 
▪ ls your path clear? 
▪ Do you need help to move the load? 
▪ ls the item damaged?

Get into position

▪ Stand as close to the load as possible in a stable position remembering that it is important to keep good posture 
▪ Slide boxes or items on shelves towards you 
▪ Your feet should be apart and one leg should be slightly forward to maintain balance 
▪ Slight bending of the back, hips and knees is better than fully flexing your back (stooping) or fully flexing your hips and knees (squatting) 
▪ If you bend your knees fully you won’t have a lot of power to lift 
▪ The load should be hugged as close as possible to your body 
▪ If the weight is uneven then hold the heaviest part next to your body.

Start to move

▪ Use your leg muscles to straighten your legs 
▪ Don’t bend your back any further 
▪ Ensure you move smoothly and don’t twist your back or lean sideways 
▪ Keep your head up and look ahead and not down at the load you are carrying.

One Person Alternative Lift

Sometimes it can be difficult to bend your knees or get close to the item, when leaning forward to lift out of a car boot. In this case use the following tips to help you:

▪ Get as close to the item as you can 
▪ If possible bend your knees or put them against a solid object 
▪ Keep your head and back in a straight line by bending at your hips 
▪ Get a good grip using your legs, buttocks and stomach muscles to lift the item. 

Planning and preparation: Is the key to SAFE manual handling practices

Carrying and unloading

The following tips will help you when carrying and unloading:

▪ Keep the load close to your body and your arms tucked in 
▪ Don’t change your grip on the load unless the weight is supported 
▪ Don’t twist your body. If you need to change direction move your feet! 
▪ Don’t obscure your vision by carrying something too big. Use a trolley or get help if you need it 
▪ Bend your knees to lower the load keeping it close to your body 
▪ Take care you don’t trap your fingers or toes when lowering the load 
▪ Put the load down then slide it into place 
▪ Ensure the load is secure wherever you place it 
▪ Make sure it won’t fall, tip over or block someone’s path.

Lifting up and Lifting down

The following techniques will help you with lifting items up and down stairs and also with loading and unloading vans. Ensure that your path is clear of objects and people, this will reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls.

▪ Where possible, try not to lift anything above shoulder height 
▪ See if you can lighten the load by dividing it into smaller loads 
▪ Get help if the object is awkward or heavy 
▪ Make sure you are standing on something sturdy (do not use chairs, open drawers or desks) use a step ladder if necessary. Otherwise stand with one foot in front of the other 
▪ Check there isn’t anything resting on top of the load before lifting 
▪ Test the weight of the load by pushing up on it 
▪ Stand as close to the load as possible, grip it firmly sliding it down your body 
▪ Ask for help if you feel you cannot lift safely on your own.

Awkward objects

If the object is a difficult shape or unusual size then:

▪ Stand over the corner of the object with your feet apart, grasp the bottom inside and top outside corners 
▪ Bend your knees and lift smoothly making sure you don’t change your grip.

Carrying up and down stairs

Check the following points BEFORE you start:

▪ Stairways are clear and are not damaged or worn. If they are you must report this 
▪ Customers or colleagues are not in the way 
▪ The item will fit round the corners 
▪ Your vision is not obstructed by the load 
▪ Use the gloves provided to ensure a good grip 
▪ On furniture items check doors or shelves are securely fastened or removed 
▪ The person at the low end is braced to take the weight 
▪ The person at the top doesn’t stand at an awkward angle 
▪ You ask for assistance if necessary and one person gives direction.

Pushing and pulling

▪ Ensure you are close to the load and have a good grip 
▪ Take extra care on slopes 
▪ Elbows should be in and ensure your hands and feet cannot get trapped.

Employers should:

▪ When practicable avoid the need for hazardous manual handling 
▪ Assess the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling that cannot be avoided 
▪ Reduce the risk wherever reasonably practical.

Team members should always:

▪ Follow the system of work set out for their safety 
▪ Make proper use of any equipment provided 
▪ Co-operate fully on Health and Safety matters 
▪ Inform their Manager if they identify any hazardous activities 
▪ Take care they do not put others at risk.

Risk assessments

Site specific risk assessments are reviewed every year. Your Manager will make you aware of any controls or working practices that must be adhered to in your particular shop.

Remember to play your part to: Reduce the risk of accidents and injury.

Now that you have completed the Manual Handling section 

Here are some specific questions for you to go through with your trainer: 

1. Practice safe manual handling techniques with your trainer 

2. Read the ‘Manual Handling’ poster on the Health and Safety board 

3. What must you consider before lifting heavy loads? 

4. What must you be sure of before carrying items up and down stairs? 

5. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that your place is a safe place to work?