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Tuesday, 22 January

Manual Handling Training Is A Waste Of Time And Money

Manual Handling

A safety training firm is urging businesses to review manual handling training after the HSE revealed that simplistic and off the shelf courses – which involve bending your knees to lift a cardboard box – are 'a waste of time and money' and do nothing to reduce risk.

According to the latest figures, almost 9 million working days were lost to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) last year. Mentor Training is reminding employers that MSDs occur in all industries and across all ages and gender - and they aren’t always the type of catastrophic injuries you might associate with manual handling tasks.

"Constant repetition of ‘light’ tasks can put staff at a high risk of cumulative injuries, developed over time and given the UK’s aging workforce, it’s vital that employers ensure the longevity of their employees’ working lives," said the HSE's Geoff Cox who recommends that employers take a holistic approach, starting with reorganising and redesigning working practices, before looking at training requirements, to ensure manual handling processes are truly tailored to the needs of the workforce.

Cox stressed: “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.”

This is a view long advocated by Mentor. Technical Manager, Andy Cartwright, told ThisWeekinFM: “In our experience, training is most effective and engaging when content is as tailored as possible to the delegates attending. It needs to be relevant and applicable to the industry and more specifically, the job roles of those taking part. We’ve found that training scenarios that use companies’ own loads and working environments really help delegates to apply what they’ve learned.”

 

Not one-size-fits-all

Cartwright continued: “It’s not sufficient to put all staff through a generic course – without considering its relevance to their roles. When delegates are at high risk of a manual handling injury, it’s crucial they receive the comprehensive training required to recognise the hazards  and understand their potential consequences for their work and home life. So we ensure it’s engrained during training, with hard-hitting, interactive content that really targets the behaviour at the root of bad practice.

“But not everyone faces the same risks. That’s why we offer a range of training packages, from specialist courses designed for those with more physical roles to induction and refresher courses for those who handle less frequently but still need to be aware of risks that apply to them, to make sure everyone receives the guidance they need.”

Picture: Is off-the-shelf manual handling training is a waste of time and money?

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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