The HSE carried out more than 1,000 inspections in October and November 2022, checking how workers were moving heavy, bulky and awkward-to-handle materials.
The inspections revealed many examples of good practice.
These included the use of mechanical equipment to handle large glazing panes, using small inexpensive air bags to help to position heavy doors when being installed, and the use of all-terrain pallet trucks to move blocks and brick-lifters to carry bricks around site.
But HSE inspectors also found many examples of poor practice, including a worker lifting an 80kg kerb on his own without any assistance from machinery, lifting aids or colleagues, and a 110kg floor saw that had to be moved into and out of a work van by two operatives at a street works site, both of which resulted in enforcement action.
Working in construction is a physically demanding job and many construction workers suffer injuries to muscles, bones, joints and nerves that affect their health and ability to work.
HSE’s Acting Head of Construction Division Mike Thomas said: “Lifting and moving heavy, bulky and awkward-to-handle objects on construction sites is harming the health of thousands of construction workers to such a degree every aspect of their lives is affected...The 1,000 plus inspections just completed took place across a range of construction sites to check the action businesses are taking to ensure their workers’ health is being protected."
Are you ensuring the safety of yourself, or your employees, from the dangers of lifting and moving objects? Why not sit on a Manual Handling half-day course where you will learn about the anatomy of the spine and muscular system and the safe moving and handing techniques under controlled conditions.