Incorrect manual handling is one of the most common causes of injury at work. These injuries are called ‘musculoskeletal disorders’ (MSDs) because they involve damage to the back, joints and tissues in the upper or lower limbs.
A hierarchy of measures to reduce the risks of manual handling is set out by the MHOR:
1. Avoid – investigate all processes so you can eliminate the need for manual handling operations.
2. Assess – where manual handling can’t be avoided, the task needs to be evaluated.
3. Reduce – the risk of injury during manual handling operations should be minimised as much as possible.