In Part 3 of our lowdown on fleet efficiency we look at manual handling
Another obvious one, however your favourite Van Man has recently encountered a lifting based back injury, and believe me it’s not a pretty site. And that’s before you factor in the cash paid to a physiotherapist.
Over 54m working days lost each year due to pain, strain and back injuries it pays to get it right.
Manual handling is defined as ‘the transporting or supporting of loads by hand or by bodily force’ (Health and Safety Executive)
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Top Tips for safe manual handling
- Make use of lifting aids such as trolleys, lift trucks, hoists etc
- Ask for assistance if you think you can’t do it alone
- Stand close to the load and centre yourself over it with your feet shoulder width apart
- Tighten your abdominal muscles
- Keep your back straight: bend your knees and squat down to the floor
- Get a good grasp on the load with both hands
- Keep the load close to your body and use your leg muscles to stand up, lifting off the floor
- Your back should remain straight throughout lifting, using only the muscles in the legs to lift the load
- Do not twist your body when moving the load. Instead, take small steps with your feet turning until you are in the correct position
- Bend at the knees using only your leg muscles.