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Practice Makes Perfect: Why Manual Handling Training MUST Include Practical Tasks

01 September 2016

What constitutes effective manual handling training? It is a good question and one we are regularly asked by those about to become qualified manual handling trainers.

The Health and Safety Executive’s published Approved Code of Practice on the subject is fairly loosely worded, so it can be confusing for new trainers to know precisely what to include in their course content.

On our City & Guilds Manual Handling Train the Trainer course, we offer assistance to trainers in this respect. The section of the HSE Manual Handling Operations Regulations dealing with knowledge and training states that there is no prescriptive guidance on what a ‘good’ manual handling training course should include. However, it does state that courses should be ‘suitable for the individual, tasks and environment involved, use relevant examples and last long enough to cover all the relevant information.’

Of particular note under this clause is the section that states the need for training to incorporate practical work to ‘allow the trainer to identify and put right anything the trainee is not doing safely.’

Feedback is Essential

The practical element of the training has always been something we at Alistair Bromhead Ltd have heavily promoted. Observing your participants and providing them with feedback on anything that needs improvement is essential. How else could handlers possibly be aware if they have incorrectly interpreted what they have learnt?

Training that is confined to theoretical elements, such as that delivered through online training or DVDs, or training that only works with limited loads as loose examples, is unfortunately all too common.

Manual handling training will only be effective if it is designed to focus on the actual load types the handlers will be working with. If you show someone how to lift an empty box for example, but in reality their role involves them pushing a roll cage, working with a team to move a particularly heavy load from A to B, or using a handling aid such as a pallet truck, how will they possibly be able to transfer what they have learnt to their real life situation?

When teaching potential manual handling trainers, we always consider a wide range of loads. We can also fully tailor the training so that it is representative of the actual situations the handlers will find themselves in.

If you would like to find out more about the effective, practical and fully tailored manual handling training offered by Alistair Bromhead Ltd, please get in touch.

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