Please select a letter from the A-Z list below:
Lifting & Handling
Any heavy labour or manual material handling
can contribute to the risk for injury on the job. Manual handling
entails lifting, climbing, pushing, pulling, and pivoting, all of
which pose the risk of injury to the back. Musculoskeletal
disorders caused by manual handling work contribute to more than a
third of the reportable cases of accidents related to HSE each
Musculoskeletal disorders often involve
strains and sprains to the lower back, shoulders, and upper limbs.
Tasks may involve bending and twisting, repetitive motions,
carrying or lifting heavy loads, and maintaining fixed positions
for a long time and manual handling under these conditions can lead
to injury, but considered ergonomic intervention can decrease that
The Health & Safety Officer has developed
a Good Back Care slide training package which is available online
to provide guidance on looking after your back while working.
Lifting can strain the lumbar vertebrae when
done improperly. To avoid this keep loads close to the body and
near the person's centre of gravity, using diagonal foot positions,
and move loads at waist height rather than directly from the
Pushing and Pulling
Pushing is generally easier on the back than
pulling and it is important to use both the arms and legs to
provide the leverage to start the push.
When moving containers, handlers are safer
when pivoting their shoulders, hips and feet with the load in front
at all times rather than twisting their back. The lower back is not
designed for repetitive twisting.
When climbing with a load, safe material
handling includes maintaining contact with the ladder or stairs at
three points (two hands and a foot or both feet and a hand). Bulky
loads would require a second person or a mechanical device to
The Openerg website (also used for
our DSE Training and Assessment) also includes summary guidance and
slides on manual handling and taking care of your back.