Manual Handling

Backpain in the workplace is an affliction that affects a very large percentage of our population. It is estimated that over 30% of all accidents in the workplace have their genesis in back injuries resulting from improper lifting techniques ( HSA Annual Reports ). Unfortunately, damage to our backs is NOT something which will go away, permanently, but is something which we must suffer for the rest of our natural lives. It is not an affliction or injury that always suddenly happens but rather is an injury that creeps up on us silently and progressively.

HSA Annual Report 2008 states “It was apparent from these inspections that there are still low levels of compliance with the requirement to have risk assessments taking account of the load, environment and task, and to implement controls where risks are identified (limited or no compliance levels of 26% and 21% respectively).

The HSA Annual Summary of Workplace Injury, Illness & Fatality for the period 2007 – 2008 reports that almost 33% of injuries result from improper Manual Handling procedures and 22% of these injuries are to the back.


The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work ( General Application ) Regulations 2007 define Manual Handling of Loads as :  “any transporting or supporting of a load by one or more employees, and includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving a load, which by reason of its characteristics or unfavourable ergonomic conditions, involves risk, particularly of back injury, to employees”.

The teaching of “best practice” in order to try to eliminate or certainly reduce the incidence of back injuries is very important in the workplace.

The Course of Training is structured to impart this “best practice” to the Participants so that “the single greatest cause of lost time and human misery” ( World Health Organisation ) can be tackled in a practical and focused manner for the good of all.

A Course of Training in Manual Handling Techniques generally takes about 3.5 hours to deliver consisting of  Legislative Background, Basic Anatomy of the Back & Spine, How & Why manual handling injuries occur, The Principles of Good Manual Handling Techniques & the practical application of same, Risk assessments & Flexibility exercise requirements.

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