What are Employee’s Responsibilities With Regards to Manual Handling?
It is all too easy to think that responsibility for manual handling safety rests solely upon management and that it is up to the employer to prevent harm from coming to workers. Whilst it is true that employers do have responsibilities regarding manual handling and the health and safety of their workers, the employees themselves must also do their part.
It is the responsibility of employees to use any equipment that has been provided by management to assist with the prevention of manual handling injuries from occurring. Not only should they use it, they should do so in accordance with the training that should have been provided to them in its correct use and operation. A failure to use equipment correctly will not only reduce or eliminate its effectiveness at preventing injuries, but may even pose a danger to health and safety in its own right. For example a mechanical aid that is used to prevent manual handling conditions such as a pulled muscle can in fact cause a more serious injury or even death if it is used incorrectly, such as a head trauma or crush injury.
Although it is an employer's duty to carry out suitable risk assessments and put into place provisions for safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of their workers, employees do have some responsibilities also. For a start, they need to perform manual handling tasks and use assistance equipment in accordance with the training, instruction and guidelines that they should have received. Employees should also notify and inform their employer of shortcomings or deficiencies in the organisation's health and safety procedures or equipment.