What exactly is Manual Handling?
Manual handling is any activity that involves, lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving of a a load, animal or object. Manual Handling relates to more than lifting heavy weights and affects more than the back. Manual Handling is a physical activity and takes place in the workplace and is part of our everyday lives.
Manual Handling is a 24-hour activity. While physical activity that takes place in the workplace may not pose a problem, it is important to be aware that manual handling can be a potential workplace hazard, where for example a person is required to handle very heavy loads or where there is a requirement for repetitive tasks to be performed.
What practical information is available for Manual Handling?
Manual Handling Training will provide practical information on the useful interventions that can be made in addressing the risk of injury caused by poor manual handling techniques.
The overall objective of manual handling training is to enable and empower employers and employees to conduct a review of their current work activities, assess potential issues relating to manual handling and make changes to work activities which would result in safer systems of work while also reducing exposure to the risk of injury.
36% of accidents reported to the Health and Safety Authority are related to manual handling.
Approximately 20% may develop long-term back pain.
Many injuries build up over a period of time rather than as a result of a single incident.
Taking care of our backs:
At birth our spinal column is one large backward curve. When a baby begins to lift its head, a forward curve develops in the neck region. At approximately 10-12 months, baby stands and walks, then the final curve develops in the lower back. This forms the “S” shape of the Spinal column.
As we grow older we develop “bad habits” in manual handling. Stooping, bending, twisting, reaching, poor posture. When we bend forward especially with a load for sustained periods of time, produces fluid loss from the disc in our back which eventually deprives the disc of nutrition.
If we alternate periods of rest and activity with postural changes this tends to boost fluid exchange, which increases nutrition.
When we look at posture, we look at the seat in our car, the chair we sit in to watch television, our desk at work, and how we stand. Good posture depends on the maintenance of the natural “S” bend position of our spine. Poor posture means that muscles are either overstretched or tightened e.g. a person working at a computer, head turned to one side. The neck muscles on one side will be stretched while on the other side they will be shortened. This may lead to stress being place on the joints resulting in pain.
In the spine poor posture may lead to unequal pressure on a disc, leading to a slipped disc or ruptured disc.
Manual Training as mentioned above will cover all the elements and will also incorporate Legislation, more information on the anatomy, principles of manual handling, benefits of fitness and back care in everyday life.
Each theory session is then followed by a practical element to demonstrate the safe technique of performing manual handling tasks.
For more information please call Mary on 087 1425452 on any query you have about manual handling, . We offer Manual Handling Training on a one-to-one basis and on an In-Company basis for up to 12 persons per course.