Simplistic and “off-the-shelf” training for manual handling is a “waste of time and money”, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Launching new online advice on musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), the HSE’s health and work portfolio manager Geoff Cox said research shows training involving bending your knees to lift a cardboard box is “just a waste of time and money” and does not make any difference.
“The overall aim is to avoid and reduce manual handling, and that’s where employers should start if their workforce faces manual handling risks,” said Mr Cox.
“Don’t start with training, start with re-organising and redesigning your working practices,” he added.
“If you do need staff training, and there are many residual risks where this is the case, then this needs to be customised and professionally delivered. Any such training should be based on observations of current working practices, and should be informed by the views and experience of the workforce.”
The new MSD guidance has been developed with input from various businesses, trade unions and professional bodies.
Comments from individuals at EEF and RoSPA
Commenting on the new advice, the head of health and safety policy at EEF, Terry Woolmer, added: “The new web-based advice won’t tell you how to resolve your MSD issues, but it will help you decide what types of approaches suit your business and where to get the help you need.”
While RoSPA health and safety consultant Roy McKee commented: “It allows the risk profile of the company to dictate the level of competence and extent of help necessary, rather than a person’s accreditation or qualifications.
“Where previously, SMEs might not know where to go for assistance in ergonomic interventions or workplace designs, hopefully the web guide will change this.”
To see the new advice see here.
Geoff Cox will be speaking at Safety & Health Expo on 19th June at ExCel London. Register for your free ticket to attend here.
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Categories: Common Workplace Hazards, Lifting And Handling, New Safety and Health
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