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HSE Site Inspections - Focus on moving and handling materials

HSE inspectors will visit construction sites across England, Scotland and Wales in September and October to check that workers’ health is being protected from the risks associated with moving and handling materials.

They will look for evidence of employers and workers:

  1. Knowing the risks.

  2. Planning their work.

  3. Using the right controls.

Manual handling means transporting or supporting a load by hand or bodily force. It includes lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, moving or carrying a load. A load is a move able object, such as a box or package, a person or an animal, or something being pushed or pulled, such as a roll cage or pallet truck.

HSE statistics show that in 2021/22, 477,000 workers suffered from work-related musculoskeletal disorders. This accounts for 7.3 million working days lost due to work-related MSDs.

These injuries can have a serious impact on workers’ ability to perform tasks; their quality of life; and in some cases, their ability to stay in work and earn a living.

The Manual Handling Regulations set out a clear hierarchy of measures you must follow to prevent and manage the risks from hazardous manual handling:

■ avoid hazardous manual handling operations, ‘so far as reasonably practicable’;

■ assess the risk of injury to workers from any hazardous manual handling that can’t be avoided;

■ reduce the risk of injury to workers from hazardous manual handling to as low as reasonably practicable.

Workers have duties too. They should:

■ follow systems of work in place for their health and safety;

■ use properly any equipment provided for their health and safety;

■ cooperate with you on health and safety matters;

■ inform you if things change or they identify hazardous handling activities;

■ take care to make sure their activities do not put others at risk.

Consult and involve your workforce. Your workers and their representatives know first-hand what the risks in the workplace are and can often suggest practical solutions to control them.

If you require Manual Handling Awareness Training, or would like more information, feel free to get in touch:

01782 438813

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