Manual Handling - Resist the Temptation to Move Too Much at Once!
Along with a lack of manual handling training and subsequently a lack of awareness about the risks involved through the incorrect handling of loads, one of the most common reasons for a worker suffering a manual handling related injury is by trying to lift or move a load which is too heavy for their capabilities. This can either be a single load which is too heavy, or trying to handle more than one at a time which whilst they would be acceptable on their own, a combination of one or more means that the weight or bulk exceeds the physical capabilities of the person.
Most of the time this happens because the worker tries to save time by trying to move everything all in one go rather than having to make separate trips which would be the more sensible option. Manual handling training as part of their health and safety training programme should reinforce the message that trying to move too much in a single trip is almost certain to result in an injury such as a muscle pull or tendon/ligament damage. Whilst it may take more time to make two or more trips instead of trying to move everything all at once, this extra time and effort will be nothing when compared with a lengthy - not to mention painful - recovery period that is needed to get over a manual handling injury.
Employers should also be aware of the time pressures they are placing upon their workers. Whilst there may be deadlines and orders to fill, health and safety should not be sacrificed under any circumstances whether it relates to manual handling or any other risk to safety, health and wellbeing. Management need to ensure that workers do not over-exert themselves in order to try and save time, as well as considering the provision of mechanical lifting aids and equipment for workers to use.