Visiting Voices – The Importance of Manual Handling in 2024 

By Prime Safety 

Improving the management of manual handling in construction has been the latest area of focus for the HSE. HSE Inspectors have been carrying out site inspections during the latter part of this year, looking for evidence that both employers and workers know the risks from poor manual handling and are planning their work to eliminate or substitute the risks where possible.

According to HSE’s 2021/22 Summary Statistics, there were 139,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related musculoskeletal disorder and 7.3 million working days lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Despite increased awareness around the long-term effects poor manual handling can have on our health and quality of life, why are the numbers still so high?

A lack of training could certainly be a contributing factor and although we roll our eyes and confidently say we know how to properly lift objects, are we actually putting this into practice? Likewise, bravado and culture still has a part to play in manual handling injuries especially on site and we’re all guilty of struggling to carry something but refusing to ask for help. This culture also means that people on site are less likely to discuss health issues and are likely to downplay any injuries from moving objects they’ve sustained.

The law requires employers to control the risks of ill health of their workers and this includes musculoskeletal disorders. Before work starts, moving and handling risks should be considered and prevented where possible at the design stage. Once on site, employers should communicate with their workers about controlling existing risks and make sure suitable measures are in place, such as the right training, lifting aids and equipment.

Remember, if moving and lifting is managed properly, a physical job on site should not disrupt every part of workers’ lives and should not be viewed as inevitable part of construction work.
Prime Consultancy Group specialise in health and safety training, consultancy services and NVQs for the construction and wider industries and are based in Maidstone, Kent. Should you require any manual handling training, we deliver a range of safety awareness courses and have classroom and remote options available depending on your requirements.

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