Work and Health Research Centre
What Constitutes Effective Manual Handling? (HSE)
Professor Cheryl Haslam
Professor Roger Haslam
Dr Stacy Clemes
Health & Safety Executive
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) have remained the most common reported type of work-related ill health in Great Britain for over a decade (HSC, 2004) . Over 1 million people are affected by MSDs each year and an estimated 11.8 million working days were lost in 2003/2004. The majority of individuals suffering from a work-related MSD suffer from a disorder affecting their back. Back pain is most common in workers who undertake tasks that involve: heavy manual labour, heavy handling, manual handling and repetitive tasks (http://hse.gov.uk/msd/backpain/wkp.htm) Manual handling covers a wide variety of tasks which include lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) set out a hierarchy of control measures aimed at reducing the incidence of injury through manual handling. Training has a role to play in supplementing other approaches in the prevention of work related MSDs.
- HSC (2004) Health and Safety Statistics Highlights 2003/04. HSE Books: Sudbury.
- HSE (2205) http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/backpain.wkp.htm