More than a third of all workplace injuries which last for over three days result from poor manual handling techniques, resulting in the loss of an estimated 1.3million working days a year. Given the major impact this loss has not just on an employer, but the Irish economy as a whole, it’s hardly surprising manual handling training has become a compulsory part of many jobs.
What is manual handling training?
Manual handling training teaches workers the skills they need to move and handle loads safely. Anyone involved in the moving and handling of goods is exposed to the risk of injury, irrespective of the weight of the load. Repetitive tasks or those carried out in poorly designed workspaces can be just as hazardous as moving heavy and unstable loads. However, the risks are at their highest in the construction, agriculture and healthcare sectors due to the nature and number of manual handling tasks.
Any manual handling training worth its salt will teach the principles and practicalities of:
- Identifying and assessing potential hazardous loads before they are moved
- Levers and laws of motion
- Manual handling legislation
- Potentially dangerous methods of handling loads
- Pulling, pushing and loading safely
- Use of mechanical aids
The four benefits of an accredited course
Reducing back injuries
Back injuries associated with poor manual handling techniques can be life changing in their severity and account for thousands of cases of back pain every year. Back pain can have a detrimental impact on every aspect of an employee’s life, resulting in days off work and preventing them from enjoying a full and active personal life.
Meeting legal obligations
Employers have a legal obligation to make a sufficient and suitable assessment of the risk to employees from the manual handling of loads. Every possible provision should be made to limit manual handling to times when it cannot be avoided, and only when the risk has been assessed and minimised. Employers may face legal recourse if they neglect to take these precautions.
Reducing the risk of a compensation claim
Any worker involved in manual handing has the legal right to be protected from injury wherever possible. If an employer fails in their duty to provide adequate protection and an employee suffers an injury as a result, the employee may be entitled to make a compensation claim. Not only are compensation claims and the associated legal costs expensive, they are can also be extremely damaging to an employer’s reputation.
Many employers are finally realising just how beneficial a proactive approach to limiting the risks associated with manual handling can be. Back pain is one of the biggest causes of long term sickness absence in Ireland, often resulting in weeks or even months off work. This loss in productivity and increase in expense can cripple businesses that don’t take steps to reduce the risks.
For more information or to book a manual handling training course in Ireland, please complete our online enquiry form or call businesssafety.ie today on 0818 333 212.