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Taking Manual Handling Safety More Seriously

01 December 2014

When you arrange induction programmes for new recruits, how much time do you allow for the area of safe manual handling? Is it difficult to fit it in with everything else that needs to be communicated in a session of an hour or two? In many companies, another worker or a supervisor gives the session having had no real training on how to present the manual handling aspect. They often only allow about 15 minutes for this crucial topic, which may not be followed up with further training.

The Problems of Relying on Induction Training

You won’t get any Brownie points from the health and safety inspectors for this. If anything goes wrong, a lack of training will be heavily penalised. Relying on induction training is frowned upon because it is only touched on briefly by someone who may know the theory, but is not trained in how to put it across. Manual handling also has to compete with a mass of other information about the job, the company and the environment. New employees need time to absorb it all, and manual handling is so important it should have dedicated training by qualified instructors and be repeated for reinforcement from time to time.

Qualified trainers know there is more to manual handling of inanimate objects than how to lift a burden. Proper techniques are needed for pushing and pulling and using mechanical devices like barrows and trolleys. Keeping these in a safe condition is also crucial, as is making the working area as safe as possible. When staff attend well thought out courses, they find them inspiring and often come back to their jobs with ideas on how to make the environment safer and more productive.

Acquiring an In-house Team of Qualified Trainers

If you have a number of employees needing initial and reinforcement training, having your own in-house trainers will keep the cost well down. Putting people through the Alistair Bromhead Manual Handling City and Guilds Train the Trainer Certificate course is the ideal way to achieve this. Courses are run throughout the year in venues across the country, or you can have a bespoke course on your premises tailored to your working environment.

Taking manual handling more seriously makes sense in so many ways. Staff morale and productivity improves as the risk of them developing musculoskeletal disorders is reduced; insurers are happier and the health and safety inspectors are less likely to issue improvement notices and incur those costly Fees For Intervention. Everyone wins.

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