Manual Handling at Work
Musculoskeletal disorders, (which is often shorten to just the initials MSD), costs the country billions of pounds every year, and is by far the biggest work related illness in Great Britain. Its reported that more than 25% of all industrial injuries are the result of incorrect manual handling activities, and 30% of these are reportable accidents under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, RIDDOR 2013. Manual handling injury statistics will cover a broad range of occupations, and not solely be restricted to the manual workers, who may well have developed the physical muscles and stamina required to more easily carry out the activities they perform. Clearly those occupations such as white collar, hospital workers, super market and shop workers etc, will from time to time be asked to undertake manual handling activities, these staff may well be more at risk due to the infrequency to which they carry out such manual handling tasks.
There are many types of MSD injuries, both internal and external, these range from cuts, bruises, lacerations and crush injuries to muscle and ligament strains, hernias and ruptures, prolapsed disc, (more commonly known as a slipped disc), as well as possible damage to joints such as knees, elbows, shoulders etc. However, back injuries can be among the most debilitating, painful and long lasting of all manual handling accidents, often resulting in many months off work and a life time of managing your back against further injuries. There are clear benefits for all parties to reduce the opportunities of MSD injuries both personal and financial. More serious accidents can result in prosecution and fines under several UK Acts and Regulations. Typically a court may impose fines for breaches of;
•s2(1) of HSWA 1974 - not ensuring the safety of employees;
•Reg.3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regs 1999 - for not carrying out a suitable risk assessment;
•Reg.13(1), 13(2) and 13(3) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regs 1999 - for not providing adequate training;
•Reg.4 of the Management of Manual Handling Operations 1992 - for failure to take steps to ameliorate the risks of manual handling.
•S37(1) of HSWA 1974 can see management charged if consent of connivance has been committed.The main regulation that covers manual handling is, The Manual Handling Operations Regulation 1992, guidance on this legislation can be found in the HSE Approved Code Of Practice L23.
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