Although risks can be found in all areas, the manual handling tasks in healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction make those industries, especially high-risk due to the number and nature of manual handling activities.
When there is a risk of injury in a manual handling task, you need to conduct a manual handling assessment. This will enable you to identify the elements of the operation and advise you on appropriate controls. An assessment takes into account the task, individual, load, and environment, often referred to using the acronym TILE.
TILE Manual Handling Acronym
Look at whether the activity involves twisting, stooping, bending, traveling, pushing, pulling, sudden movements of the load, team handling, or sitting.
The physical capabilities of individuals vary, so you must take this into account when assessing them. Before carrying out a task, you should ask about each individual's physical capability. Each worker with a known injury or disability should be evaluated individually. Special assessments may be required for workers with impaired vision, reduced grip strength, pregnancy, or disabilities.
If the load is heavy, difficult to grasp, sharp, hot, or cold, or if the contents are likely to shift or move, keep these factors in mind.
You should pay attention to the working environment since this may contribute to an increased risk of injury. Consider floor conditions, levels of the floor, space restrictions, poor lighting, ventilation, and weather factors.
LITE Manual Handling Acronym
There is another manual handling acronym called LITE, which has exactly the same meaning as TILE but with the letters arranged differently. Both terms can be used to refer to manual handling - whichever is easiest to remember to you.
Manual Handling Poster
If you are looking for a visual reminder, we have put together a Manual Handling Poster for your workplace, which is available to download for free. Although the Manual Handling Poster is not meant to replace adequate training, it does serve as a helpful reminder of some important safety points to consider when carrying out manual handling tasks.