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Manual Handling. It’s Not Just About Lifting Boxes

In the past, the emphasis of a manual handling training course was often on lifting a box to obtain a manual handling certificate. Yet, manual handling encompasses a wide range of tasks, including pushing, pulling, carrying, lifting, lowering, passing, bending, twisting, stretching, and yes, even lifting boxes. This scope of manual handling tasks underscores the need for good manual handling training.

Recognising the vast array of manual handling activities is crucial in understanding the scope of potential risks and the measures necessary to mitigate them. The range of manual handling tasks is vast, encompassing lifting and moving objects and extending to pushing, pulling, and stabilising different loads. Each task presents challenges and requires a distinct approach to minimise risk and enhance efficiency. For example, making a trolley filled with goods differs from the manual handling of repositioning a patient in a healthcare setting. Moreover, manual handling isn't limited to physically moving items; it also includes tasks that involve holding items in a static position, twisting, or bending while handling loads. The nature of the item, whether bulky, heavy or awkwardly shaped, adds another layer of complexity to manual handling tasks. These activities are present across various sectors, from construction sites where materials must be regularly moved to office environments where reorganising workspace or handling deliveries are common occurrences.