1 Guidance on the Management of Manual Handling in the workplace 1 0. Guidance ON THE Management OF Manual Handling IN THE workplace . Guidance on the Management of Manual Handling in the workplace Published in June 2005 by the Health and Safety Authority, 10 Hogan Place, Dublin 2. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Health and Safety Authority. ISBN 1-84496-023-4. 1. Guidance ON THE Management OF Manual Handling IN THE workplace . Table of Contents: Introduction _____ 3. The Extent of the Issue _____ 4.
2 The Legislation _____ 6. A Manual Handling Management Programme _____ 8. Element 1: Develop a Manual Handling Policy_____ 9. Element 2: Consultation _____ 12. Element 3: Risk Assessment and Implementation of Controls _____ 13. Step 1: Identification of Tasks to be assessed Step 2: Development of a Risk Assessment Schedule Step 3: The Risk Assessment Process Stage 1: Task Observation Stage 2: Collection of Information Stage 3: Identification of Risk Factors Stage 4: Solution Development and Plan of Action Stage 5: Review Effectiveness of Control Measures Element 4: Training _____ 27. Element 5: The Role of Ergonomics in the design of work activity _____ 29. Conclusion _____ 30. Appendices _____ 31.
3 2. Guidance ON THE Management OF Manual Handling IN THE workplace . Introduction: This Guidance outlines the key parts of the Manual Handling of loads regulation and its related Schedule and it aims to give a better understanding of the risk factors associated with Manual Handling . These regulations are likely to be remade in 2005 without substantive changes. The Guidance underlines the need to put an effective Manual Handling risk assessment process in place and it outlines the key stages of this process. This implies the need for proactive ergonomics input at the planning and design stage. It explains how Manual Handling can be avoided or reduced through better planning, consultation and systematic Management .
4 It provides ideas for solutions to different Manual Handling problems. Not all the ideas will be relevant in all circumstances; different Manual Handling situations require different solutions, depending on the nature and extent of the risk. It is not within the scope of this Guidance to cover in detail the area of back care Management and injury Management . These are necessary elements of back injury prevention, which need to be considered but fall outside the realms of the Manual Handling regulations. The Guidance is designed for all parties who play a part in managing Manual Handling risk and these include designers, architects, manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, health and safety professionals, safety representatives, employers and employees.
5 The Authority would like to acknowledge the Health and Safety Executive (UK) for some of the images used in these guidelines. 3. Guidance ON THE Management OF Manual Handling IN THE workplace . The Extent of the Issue: The Manual Handling of loads regulation and its related schedule sets out a framework for employers to reduce the risk of injury from Manual Handling activity. It seeks to reduce the very large incidence of injury and ill health arising from the Manual Handling of loads at work. The regulations place duties on employers in respect of their own employees. The main concern with Manual Handling activity is the increased risk of injury due to wear and tear on the back, especially on the lumbar intervertebral discs, (Grandjean 2000).
6 Back injuries can be painful and reduce one's mobility and can lead to long absences from work and in modern times are among the main causes of early disability. Almost every occupational setting requires some form of Manual Handling . Space limitations, varied nature of the activity, and the reluctance to make substantial investment in mechanised/automated equipment are some of the reasons for not avoiding or reducing Manual Handling (Mital 1998). Invariably, the abilities of individuals to perform these activities, either frequently or occasionally are exceeded, resulting in severe chronic or acute injuries. The data in Table 1 below demonstrates that injuries due to Manual Handling make up a significant percentage of non-fatal accidents reported to the Health and Safety Authority every year.
7 Since 1993 injuries due to Manual Handling activity have been on the increase, and in 2003, 34% of reportable accidents were injuries due to Manual Handling activity. It is accepted that there are situations where the cause of injury may be multi-faceted, however the official statistics do show a large incidence of injury due to Manual Handling activity. TABLE 1: HSA Statistics 1993-2001: Injuries while Handling , lifting or carrying as a Percentage of Total non fatal injuries 35. 30. 25. 20. Percentage %. Series1. 15. 10. 5. 0. Yr93 Yr94 Yr95 Yr96 Yr97 Yr98 Yr99 Yr00 Yr01. 4. Guidance ON THE Management OF Manual Handling IN THE workplace . These statistics are consistent with statistics across Europe including a report by the European Foundation for Living and Working conditions produced in 2001.
8 In 2000 The Foundation carried out the Third European Survey and questioned 21,500 workers in face-to-face interviews on their working conditions. The most common work related health problem reported was back pain, which was reported by 33% of workers. It also reported that exposure to poorly designed work environments, which involved carrying heavy loads, and working in awkward painful positions remains prevalent. An increasing proportion of workers are reporting work-related health problems. In this context the Health and Safety Authority developed a specific programme of work to assess the Management of Manual Handling in the workplace . A key part of this programme was the completion of inspections across a number of sectors with a focus on Manual Handling .
9 A. report on the findings of this inspection programme was submitted to the Health and Safety Authority Executive and board at the end of 2001. This report identified a number of recommendations including the need to develop new Guidance on Manual Handling risk assessment. This Guidance document is focused on giving advice on managing Manual Handling in the workplace . 5. Guidance ON THE Management OF Manual Handling IN THE workplace . The Legislation The Safety Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations of 1993 are made up of ten pieces of legislation and twelve schedules which relate to specific parts of the legislation. Part VI of these regulations transposes EU Council Directive 90/269/EEC on the minimum health and safety requirements for the Manual Handling of loads into Irish legislation.
10 The regulation is titled the Manual Handling of Loads Regulation. This regulation is likely to be remade in 2005 without substantive changes. The main structure of the regulation is as set out below: REGULATION 27 INTERPRETATION FOR PART VI. In this part, Manual Handling of loads means any transporting or supporting of a load by one or more employees, and includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling carrying or moving a load, which by reason of its characteristics or unfavourable ergonomic conditions, involves risk, particularly of back injury, to employees. This definition of Manual Handling refers to unfavourable ergonomic conditions. DEFINITION OF ERGONOMICS: Ergonomics applies information about human behaviour, abilities and limitations and other characteristics to the design of tools, machines, tasks, jobs and environments for productive, safe, comfortable and effective human use.