Implementing correct manual handling practices is extremely important in any workplace, but even more so in the manufacturing industry. Being surrounded by heavy objects, machinery and storage equipment can be potentially hazardous, especially if manual handling isn’t done correctly. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), over a third of workplace injuries occur during manual handling which can be anything involving lifting and carrying objects (especially heavy ones), lowering, pulling or pushing - all of which are pretty common practice in manufacturing.
We’re going to take a look at why correct manual handling is so important in the manufacturing industry, and how you can minimise the risks involved.
The most obvious problem that can occur if manual handling isn’t undertaken correctly is injury to yourself or others. If a member of staff carries a large product incorrectly, there’s a chance they could injure themselves or someone else - or both! This could be during the lifting process, moving, and placing the product down. There are different practices that need to be followed at each stage of the movement process to ensure items are moved safely. By ensuring that everyone in the warehouse is aware of the correct manual handling procedures, the risk of injury will definitely be reduced.
Prevent damaging your products
In addition to human injury, incorrect manual handling can also cause damage to the products. If a heavy product is lifted incorrectly and consequently dropped, it’s likely the item will be damaged by the impact. In cases like this, it’s useful to ensure that staff are aware of the right method of handling heavy equipment. For example, perhaps machinery would be better placed in this scenario. So, by ensuring that staff are aware of the correct handling methods - whether that be handling it themselves or using a machine to do the job - you’ll mitigate the risk of damaging the products.
The best ways to minimise risks involved in manual handling
Here are some general points of good practice to adopt in the workplace that will help you minimise the risk of injury:
First things first, conduct a manual handling risk assessment. This will help you and your employees identify any potentially dangerous situations that could arise in your warehouse and put preventative measures in place. Whether that be wearing hard hats when moving items overhead or using the correct equipment, it’s always good to be prepared. If you want any advice and guidance on using the right manual handling equipment to mitigate injuries, contact BlueTrolley today.
Make sure all staff have adequate manual handling training and are familiar with all the handling procedures. There are numerous suppliers of manual handling courses that could be good for all employees to attend - that way, everyone is well-equipped with the right knowledge to prevent injury.
Keep storage areas in good shape. A well-managed area will reduce the need for any awkward lifting, which could result in injury to the employee and damage to the product being moved. In particular, heavier objects should ideally be stored as close as possible to where they ultimately need to be. For more information, have a look at our guide to managing your warehouse inventory or read our tips on how to improve safety in warehouses.
Picking the right bit of kit for the job is key. Transporting objects using the right equipment is a much better solution than risking anyone’s safety. Equally, equipment should be used properly, so have a look at our guide to handling a trolley safely. To this end, we offer a wide range of trolleys to ease the load of your manual tasks. In particular, we’re well-versed in building custom trolleys to exactly suit your purposes.