Manual Handling Injuries
Duties of Employers
Duties of Employees
The manual handling of loads has long been recognised as a major source of occupational injury and ill health. National legislation provides a structured approach through which risks can be identified and corrective measures applied, with the aim of bringing about a significant reduction in the toll of injury and disablement caused by manual handling in the workplace.
More than a quarter of accidents reported each year to the enforcing authorities are associated with manual handling strains and sprains which account for around 65% of injuries in this category arising from incorrect application and a prolongation of bodily forces. Poor posture and excessive repetition of movement can be important factors in their onset. Sometimes injuries are cumulative and not always the result of a single accident.
Injuries can occur to many parts of the body and not just the back. However, it is important to remember that back injuries can be very painful and are notoriously difficult to cure, and indeed diagnose.
The challenges for the safe manual handling of loads are found right across industry and are by no means restricted to the movement of heavy loads. In fact small loads in awkward places and in difficult environments may often present a greater challenge to the body's muscular and skeletal systems. The problem is further compounded by the fact that many people see small loads as too small a problem to concern themselves with.
More detailed information relating to the legal responsibilities of employers and employees follows.
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This information is derived from the Health & Safety Manual and Kit
For further information about the Kit, visit