Manual Handling at Work cont...
Regulation 4 is where the duties on employers are set out, these include;
Each employer shall so far as is reasonably practicable, avoid the need for their employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work that involve a risk of them being injured. This is broken down in three key requirements.
a) Avoid - the need for hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable, e.g. use mechanical devices;
b) Assess - the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling that can't be avoided; and
c) Reduce - the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practical
The Regulations should not be considered in isolation. Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work regulation requires employers to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees whilst at work. Clearly risk assessment is the basis of much of the present prescriptive health and safety legislation.
Regulation 5 is also worthy of a mention as it places responsibility on the employees.
Each employee while at work shall make full and proper use of any system of work provided for his use by his employer, these duties are already placed on employees by section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 under which they must:
•take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their activities; and co-operate with their employers to enable them to comply with their health and safety duties.
In addition, regulation 14 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, requires employees generally to make use of appropriate equipment provided for them, in accordance with the training and the instructions their employer has made available.
Regulation 5 of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations supplements these general duties in the case of manual handling. It requires employees to follow appropriate systems of work laid down by their employer to promote safety during the handling of loads.
Some available guidance;
HSE Manual handling assessment chart (MAC) tool; developed to help the user identify high risk workplace manual handling activities.
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