Well, the quick answer to the title of this post is that the emphasis now placed on manual handling training in the workplace is greater than ever before. Whether it’s for a retail environment, a factory, a warehouse, an office, or a hospital, it would be safe to say that around 30-40% of our training video enquires relate to manual handling.
So why does manual handling continually present itself as a hot topic in the workplace? Several reasons for this could be:
- Manual handling is any activity that requires force to lift, pull, push, carry, restrain or move an object or person. Tasks that most of us perform everyday. Therefore, essentially all workers, in any workplace are at risk of a manual handling related injury, no matter how minimal they believe their work to be.
- The injuries resulting from poor manual handling in the workplace generally suffer from poor public relations because musculoskeletal injuries tend to happen bit-by-bit. They don’t have the sudden impact or shock value of a torn limb or deep gash, which can certainly lead to complacency. However, manual handling injuries can be every bit as debilitating.
- The financial consequences are also severe. Manual handling injuries are crippling the Australian health care system with an estimated $20 billion of claims costs for serious injuries annually. Take the health care industry in Australia. There are 44 employees each day requiring one or more weeks off work because of work related injury or disease. Over half of these are due to manual handling injuries!
- It is essential for organisations to have an effective training program in place that aims to improve the safety of manual handling tasks performed in the workplace. In fact, it is now law that employers and managers provide a safe workplace, and all the relevant information, instruction and training to ensure that employees are aware of how to work safely and their own obligations.
So in 2010, it was the health care sector screaming out for a manual handling training program, and more importantly, one that was specific to health care. And it’s wasn’t hard to fathom why when you think about the vast number of manual handling hazards present in such a workplace environment, as well as the number of injuries that have occurred as a result of poor manual handling practices.
No matter what industry you’re in, if you’re looking to conduct any sort of manual handling training, there are a few key points to consider:
- Appropriate training should highlight to staff that they should take time to look at the manual handling tasks in their workplace, and think about the possible risks associated with performing those tasks. Ways in which the risks can be reduced or eliminated should then be discussed.
- Employees should also find out; Is there a procedure in place for dealing with manual handling problems? Are there mechanical aids available to to assist with manual handling? Is there a procedure in place for maintaining these mechanical aids or training on their use?
- Most importantly, however you or your organisation conduct their training, whether it’s internal or it’s outsourced, whether it’s one-on-one or group training, the types of training resources used, the most important thing is, the training needs to be engaging, relevant and appropriate to the target audience.
If you wish to preview a manual handling training video title, simply follow the link.