We have been delivering a lot of manual handling training of late it seems and much of this is because businesses are still experiencing injuries and ill health reports because of manual handling. This is not isolated to a few businesses from what we can see as the stats reported by the HSE continue to show the same picture across the U.K.
Our training has been aimed at trying to get those attending to take more personal responsibility and take a moment to think about what they are about to do before doing it – after all we all only have one back and if we hurt ourselves its only us who will suffer. Well maybe our partner and family may also, if we moan about it.
The key is really to plan out what we are going to do, realise our personal limitations and to not take un-necessary risks. Of course there is safe lifting and handling techniques to consider but often what we have to handle is not designed to make it easy for us to move around.
Another key consideration has to be how a business maintains its housekeeping, as a poorly maintained site is only going to increase the risks of a manual handling type injury occurring. Unfortunately this often gets overlooked by the very same people who end up getting hurt those working in the area. Last week we undertook a site inspection and could not believe how bad the housekeeping was at the factory visited; discussing this with the workforce, the reason cited was a lack of time to clear away after themselves. But as we explained who are you going to blame when you get hurt!
It seems to us that it’s all too easy to overlook doing the things that make work safer and ultimately easier; but in today’s businesses there are not magic fairies that come along and clear up after us. We can all find excuses of why we are just too busy can`t we; but when it’s gone wrong it’s too late to start pointing the finger of blame. Surely taking a few moments to consider if a task is safe to do and if not ensuring the workplace is tidy is far better than waiting for an accident or injury to occur.
Unfortunately our experience has shown us over the past 20 years that people have two traits in common; people are inherently lazy and inherently stupid. If we are going to stop people from getting hurt these are two key factors that we need to recognise in how we go about controlling risks. We ask you to think how well have your employees been trained and do they need to be reminded to take personal responsibility?