Manual Handling Procedure

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1 Manual Handling Procedure

2 Table of Contents 1 Purpose Scope Definitions Responsibilities Managers And Supervisors Workers (Employees, Contractors And Visitors) Process Identifying Hazardous Manual Tasks Assess The Risk Apply Controls General Principles Lifting Using Powered Tools Training And Awareness... 6 DVGMS-HSE-PRO-6 Version: 01 Page 2 of 6

3 1 PURPOSE The purpose of this procedure is to ensure hazardous manual handling tasks are identified and risk of musculoskeletal disorders associated with such tasks are controlled. 2 SCOPE This document applies to all manual handling tasks performed in DVG Mining Services workplaces. 3 DEFINITIONS Manual Handling: Manual handling is the described as any activity requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, push, pull, carry or otherwise move or restrain any animate or inanimate object. Manual handling covers a wide range of activities including lifting, pushing, pulling, grasping, throwing and carrying. Manual tasks: Manual tasks refers to any activity or sequence of activities that requires a person to use their physical body (musculoskeletal system) to perform work including: Manual handling (the use of force in lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying or otherwise moving, Holding or restraining any person, material or object); Performing repetitive actions; Adopting awkward or sustained postures; and Using plant, tools or equipment that exposes workers to vibration. Hazardous manual tasks include: Manual tasks having any of the following characteristics: - Forces exerted by the worker (eg lifting, lowering or carrying) or on the worker by an item; - Awkward postures (eg bending forwards, twisting or reaching); - Sustained postures (eg prolonged sitting or standing); - Repetitive movements (eg repeating an action frequently, without breaks); - Vibration whole-body (eg sitting in certain vehicles) and hand-arm (eg using certain powered tools); Manual tasks involving the handling of unstable or unbalanced loads or loads difficult to grasp or hold. Musculoskeletal disorder means an injury or disease of the musculoskeletal system. Risk in relation to any injury or harm, means the probability of that injury or harm occurring Musculoskeletal disorders: MSDs are sometimes referred to as sprains and strains. It is a term used to describe a wide variety of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. This includes injuries to joints, ligaments, intervertebral discs and other structures in the back and injuries to joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves in the wrists, elbows, arms, shoulders, neck, abdomen (e.g. hernia), hips, knees and legs. In the Occupational Health and Safety (Manual Handling) Regulations 1999 these conditions are referred to as musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). 4 RESPONSIBILITIES 4.1 Managers and Supervisors. Managers and Supervisors, as far as is reasonably practicable, are responsible for: Ensuring this Procedure is established, communicated, implemented, maintained and reviewed; Providing appropriate resources and processes for eliminating or minimising risks that arise from manual handling tasks; Ensuring all employees have appropriate manual handling training; Ensuring that manual handling tasks are identified, assessed, controlled and monitored. DVGMS-HSE-PRO-6 Version: 01 Page 3 of 6

4 4.2 Workers (Employees, Contractors and Visitors) Workers, as far as is reasonably practicable, are responsible for: Participating in hazard identification, risk assessment and development of control measures; Reporting all incident and injuries as soon as practicable; Following duty of care protocols when conducting tasks involving manual handling; Following prescribed policies and procedures in relation to manual handling tasks. 5 PROCESS 5.1 Identifying Hazardous Manual Tasks The first step in managing the risks posed by manual handling is to identify the risks associated with the task. The following should be considered when identifying a potentially hazardous manual handling task: Actions and postures while doing the task. Does the task involve: - Holding loads away from the body; - Handling loads above shoulder height; - Stooping or handling a load below hip height; - Twisting or combined bending and twisting; - Handling a load in one hand or on one side of the body; - Carrying the load a long distance; - Forceful pushing or pulling; and - Sudden or jerky movements. The characteristics of the load being handled. Is the load: - Heavy; - Bulky; - Awkward; - Intrinsically harmful sharp, rough, hot or cold; and - Difficult to grasp. The characteristics of the work environment. Has the area got: - Posture constraints; - Uneven or slippery floors; - Variations in floor levels; and - Poor lighting. - The characteristics of the worker age, fitness, special needs. Weather. Whether the task includes vibrating plant or equipment. Vibration can lead to micro-trauma of body tissue, muscular fatigue and the worker may need to use excessive force to handle or use items that vibrate. The risk of injury depends on the type of vibration, including the magnitude, frequency, duration and direction. 5.2 Assess the Risk All identified risks should be assessed using an appropriate risk assessment tool such as a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) or Take 5, in order to determine: The likelihood of the hazard causing harm; The level of exposure to the hazard; The consequences of exposure to the hazard. 5.3 Apply Controls Risk control mechanisms should be based on the Hierarchy of Control: Elimination: Remove the task or process, if possible Substitution: Replace process or task with a less hazardous one, e.g. replace requirement for heavy manual effort with mechanical processes or team lifting. Isolation: Separate from all possible sources of energy Engineering: Engineer the hazard out of the design, e.g. move a shelf lower down for easier access. DVGMS-HSE-PRO-6 Version: 01 Page 4 of 6

5 Administration: Procedural and instructional controls, e.g. rotation of employees to reduce exposure; appropriate training. PPE: Use protective equipment to reduce exposure to the hazard, e.g. Safety boots that provide support against strains and sprains. The following guidelines can be applied as controls for manual handling risks: Avoid moving a heavy load: Modify the load, e.g. change shape of bulky objects or packs by loading into smaller cartons Modify the work area Move the load mechanically Use assistance; conduct team lifts Where appropriate PPE; ensure gloves are worn for slippery items Ensure correct lifting technique is used Proper planning and organisation can result in the elimination of many manual handling tasks. Some loads can be slid, pushed, rolled, poured or pumped, removing the need to lift. Use an adjustable platform and ensure work surfaces are at the correct height. 5.4 General Principles Physical changes to workplace design, layout and plant are more effective than administrative risk controls. Postures, movements and forces known to be associated with MSD should be eliminated from the workplace where possible. No employee should be required to routinely work above their shoulder height, below their knees or at full reach distance. To accommodate different people and tasks, workstations should be quick and easy to adjust. The best working zone is described as the area between the shoulders and knees. When site or tasks design/planning is being undertaken, the following shall be considered: Personal Characteristics: Personnel vary in their physical and mental capabilities. Workers can vary in height, body size, arm and leg length, torso width and length, sight and hearing levels. Individuals also vary with regard to their training, education, their perception, their background, experience and their fatigue tolerance. Workplace/Work Task: Workplace and task design should take these differences into account. E.g.: Adjustable heights, brightness and speeds.for any work place or task consideration shall be given to all surrounding factors. e.g.: Office furniture/fittings, hand/power tools/equipment, manual DVGMS-HSE-PRO-6 Version: 01 Page 5 of 6

6 handling, work posture, duration, frequency, repetitive operations, distance, outdoor activity, rest breaks etc. Workplace Environment: Factors such as lighting, noise, temperature, vibration, dusts, fumes, radiation, etc., should be considered. e.g.: High heat, frequent lifting, increased fatigue. 5.5 Lifting Where assistance is not required: Ensure that you are warmed up, do appropriate stretches; Inspect the load for sharp edges; Check the weight of the item; Plan a route that is clear and free of obstacles; Stand close to the item, with feet shoulder width apart; Take a firm grip using the base of your fingers Bend your knees, and keep your back straight this supports the spine and back muscles and Keeps your internal organs in correct alignment; Keep the centre of gravity of the item close to your body; Lift your head and tuck in your chin this ensures that the top of your spine is straight; Lift smoothly using your leg muscles and keeping your back straight; Use your body weight as momentum to move the load forwards; DO NOT twist your body. Where two or more personnel are conducting the lift, communication is critical. Always ensure that only one, nominated person is in control of the lift. 5.6 Using Powered Tools Safe work practices when using power tools include: Only use tools for the purposes specified in the manufacturer s guidelines; Avoid sustained awkward positions; Take regular breaks, stretch muscles. 6 TRAINING AND AWARENESS Manual handling requirements can be: General: - Basic manual handling training is to be a part of area induction training for all employees. Task specific: - Task specific training shall be provided to employees before they are assigned to tasks involving manual handling. Training records shall be kept updated and shall include: The employee s full name; The date of training; The training provider; Topics / information covered; Any assessment or follow up program. DVGMS-HSE-PRO-6 Version: 01 Page 6 of 6

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