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Is Manual Handling Training Worth it? Jul 5th, 2014
graphicManual handling has been defined as any activity requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry, move, hold or restrain a person, animal or object. If these tasks are not carried out safely, there is a risk of injury and research shows a significant linkage between musculoskeletal injuries and manual handling, with the primary area of physiological and biomechanical concern being the lower back (Bernard et al, 1997).

Only some 2% of individuals with back injuries who have been off work for more than 2 years will ever return to gainful employment. The loss of the ability to work can have a devastating consequence on not only the injured individual but also his or her entire family.

Measures to reduce risk of injury start with the requirement to avoid hazardous manual handling wherever practicable. Where this is not possible, attention should be given to the provision of lifting aids and task/workplace design. If a job cannot be ergonomically modified to be less physically demanding Pre-employment Physical Assessment is vital. It is important not to place individuals in a job for which they do not have the physical capabilities to perform.

graphicEmployers are also required to provide their employees with health and safety information and training, and where relevant this should be supplemented with more specific training on manual handling injury risks and prevention (Work Safe Australia, 2011).

The type of training offered and its effectiveness often depends on a multitude of factors such as method of teaching, organization setting and type of training technique that is used. However, concerns have been raised over the efficacy of current manual handling training methods (Dawson et al, 2007).



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