There is no getting away from the fact that moving and handling plays a part in almost every role, in every industry, making the risk of a workplace injury high if you’re not up to speed with the best practice techniques. However, if you work in an industry that relies heavily on moving and handling, whether that be manually or using moving and handling equipment – the risks are much greater.
Why so many injuries? Well, it’s likely to be because we don’t expect anything to go wrong when handling loads. We lift things all the time. We carry things often. It’s normal. It’s boring. However things do go wrong, and when they do, the consequences can be serious.
Let’s look at some manual handling injuries:-
- Slip, Trip and Fall Injuries – These types of injuries account for a whopping 29% of non fatal workplace injuries. Often, when you are carrying a load, some of your visibility is blocked, especially at ground level. You might not see that your shoelace has come undone, that cable trailing on the floor or an uneven floor. The consequences of a slip or trip when you are manual handling is higher as you do not have a free hand to put out to break your fall or to hold onto a handrail.
- Foot Injuries – When manual handling causes a fracture, it is usually to the foot due to dropping the load you are carrying. Lifting heavy loads, not getting a good grip and dropping loads from a height – rather than carefully lowering them – can all lead to crushing, bruising or broken bones in the feet.
- Musculo-skeletal Injuries – According to the Health & Safety Executive, there were 498,000 workers suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (either new or long-standing) in 2018/19, with 203,000 of these suffering with upper limb or neck injuries, 40% suffering from back problems and 19% with lower limb injuries . It’s not just during lifting you need to watch your back., any time you are carrying a load, poor posture can damage your back. Stooping or twisting can make your back more vulnerable to injury. Common back injuries include injuries to the spine and slipped discs. Unlike more superficial and short-term workplace injuries, musculoskeletal disorders usually occur as a result of repetitive movements over a long period of time. It doesn’t always necessarily occur as a result of heavy trauma either, as the Health & Safety Executive states that manual handling, lifting and repetitive keyboard typing are the prime causative factors behind work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
- Hand Injuries – Hand injuries don’t always come from direct contact with the load, but also from where you are placing it. If the load is heavy, it could bruise you or even break a bone if you don’t get your fingers out the way when you put it down. And your fingers could also get trapped between the load and other nearby obstacles like containers or walls. Lifting, pulling, pushing and carrying, whichever activity you are carrying out, you usually grip with your hands.
- Strains and Sprains – Superficial or short-term injuries encompass a wide range of things, including cuts and lacerations, sprains, tears, small fractures and muscle strains. Superficial injuries are amongst the most common type of work place injury. Overstretching your muscles beyond their capacity can lead to inflammation, bruising and pain. Muscular strains and sprains often occur in the back, arms and wrists.
If you have sustained a manual handling injury , would like some further information or would like to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
From the team at Heale's Chiropractic Clinics
Over 30 years of helping people in Hitchin and Luton and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire