14 May 2008
Every year many workers are injured when manually lifting, lowering and carrying loads. With the help of materials handling specialist Barloworld, employers can make sure that their employees have the skills, resource and understanding to minimise the risk of injury.
UK law obliges companies to take action to prevent injury as a result of manual handling activities such as lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying. With thousands of people affected by workplace injury each year, manual handling has become a top priority for any employer. The associated injuries mostly affect the back but can also cause problems with limbs, muscles, tendons and even the heart. In fact, more than a third of all over-3-day injuries reported to the HSE are connected with manual handling whilst personal injury cases and lost working days can prove costly for the employer.
Barloworld Handling has been helping companies lift and move heavy objects for many generations. Ian Marshall, National Training Manager for Barloworld Handling explains "It is important that businesses assess the risks that they place on their employees through work related tasks."
Barloworld Handling provides risk assessments to help identify problem areas and recommends courses of action businesses can take to reduce the risk of accident or injury. Responsibility, however, remains with the employer at all times.
"Employers have to be realistic in their approach to educating the workforce. It's not just about showing them how to lift a box properly, employees have to understand all the variables and why correct manual handling is important."
Barloworld conducts half to two day 'kinetic' courses at their own network of training centres or onsite in the employees working environment.
"We believe equipment is secondary to training, purely because employees have to understand the value in using equipment correctly. We can all take short cuts to get a job done quickly which is why employees have to understand the company policy and the risks." concludes Marshall.
The HSE recommends that employees use machines and handling aids to take the strain. To help, Barloworld's product catalogue is packed with all types of affordable equipment that lifts, lowers, pushes or pulls loads of any shape or size and the company's advisors are on hand to provide the very latest advice for all types of environment.
For a free copy of Barloworld's handling and storage catalogue call 0800 137 449 or visit www.barloworld–handling.co.uk