Building and construction-manual handling
A 19 year old apprentice painter injured his lower back while lifting a 20 litre paint tin and carrying it 40 metres. He felt only a twinge at first but over the next few days could not move at all. He has had a slow recovery and is now likely to suffer from back pain for the rest of his life.
Your job in construction involves handling building materials, setting up work platforms and using power tools.
Manual handling is the number one way of hurting yourself in this industry.
Basically manual handling is lifting and carrying but it also includes using force to push, pull, or hold something.
Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to do all this. If you get it wrong you can do serious damage to your back. This will affect you not just at work but in your own time too.
Before you start a job where you have to move, lift, hold onto, push or pull something have a think about what you can do to make the job as safe as possible.
- How heavy are the items you have to move?
- How far does the load need to be carried?
- How much bending and twisting is needed to manage the load?
- How repetitive will the task be?
- What PPE (safety gear) might you need?
- Does the job need two people or the use of trolleys and hoists?
How do I bend, lift and carry safely?
- Have your feet shoulder width apart
- Have your feet turned out slightly and one foot a little more forward than the other
- Have your chin tucked in
- Bend at the knees to be ready to pick up the load
- Keep the load close to your body
- Stand up smoothly, keeping your back as straight as possible
- Coordinate with the person helping you and move at the same time
- Avoid twisting your body; move your feet first
- Only carry as much as feels comfortable for you
- Use lifting equipment like trolleys and hoists
- Get help from a workmate to lift heavy items
- Get training in manual handling
SPEAK UP IF YOU THINK THE JOB IS TOO MUCH FOR YOU
Want to know more about manual handling?