Manual handling and lifting
Manual handling and lifting policy
Manual handling covers a wide variety of activities including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying. If any of these tasks are not carried out appropriately there is a risk of injury.
Do not struggle or risk lifting moving an item on your own. Get help!
Remove obstructions from the route.
For a long lift, plan to rest or change grip.
Keep the load close to the waist. The load should be kept close to the body for as long as possible while lifting.
Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the body.
Adopt a stable position and make sure your feet are apart, with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance
Start in a good posture. At the start of the lift, slight bending of the back, hips and knees is preferable to fully flexing the back (stooping) or fully flexing the hips and knees (squatting).
Don’t flex the back any further while lifting. This can happen if the legs begin to straighten before starting to raise the load.
Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways, especially while the back is bent. Shoulders should be kept level and facing in the same direction as the hips. Turning by moving the feet is better than twisting and lifting at the same time.
Keep the head up when handling. Look ahead, not down at the load, once it has been held securely.
Move smoothly. The load should not be jerked or snatched as this can make it harder to keep control and can increase the risk of injury.
Don’t lift or handle more than can be easily managed. There is a difference between what people can lift and what they can safely lift.