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Manual Handling Hazards and Injuries

Manual Handling Hazards and Injuries

Did you know that every year, millions of people are injured due to manual handling accidents? In fact, it is estimated that manual handling injuries account for around a third of all workplace injuries. If you work in an industry where you are regularly required to move heavy objects by hand, it is important to be aware of the risks involved and take steps to protect yourself from potential injury. This blog post will discuss the hazards associated with manual handling and outline some tips for avoiding injury.

One of the most common hazards associated with manual handling is lifting objects that are too heavy. This can lead to strain on the muscles and joints, which can, in turn, cause pain and discomfort. It is important to lift only objects you can safely handle and use proper lifting techniques. If an object is too heavy to lift on your own, ask for assistance from a colleague.

Another hazard associated with manual handling is repetitive movements. This can cause strain on the muscles and joints and lead to injuries such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are required to perform the same task repeatedly, take breaks often and stretch your muscles to avoid strain.

Finally, poor posture is a common hazard associated with manual handling. This can cause back, neck, and shoulder pain and lead to more serious injuries, such as slipped discs. To avoid this, maintain good posture when lifting objects and take care not to twist your body unnecessarily.

The term ‘ manual handling ’ describes the manual movement of the load solely by human effort. This effort or force may be applied directly or indirectly using the rope or the lever. Manual handling may involve carrying the load or the direct support of the weight or load, including pulling, pushing, moving using physical force carrying, and, of course, straightforward lifting of the weight or load. Back injury from lifting heavyweight loads is common, and millions of working days are lost each year because of such injuries.

Other hazards of manual handling include:

  • The lifting of the load which is too heavy or too cumbersome, resulting in back injury or pain;
  • Poor posture during the lifting operation or poor lifting techniques or methods resulting in back injury;
  • dropping the load, resulting in the foot injury;
  • The lifting of sharp-edged or hot loads results in hand injuries.
  • Injuries caused by manual handling

Manual handling operations or procedures can cause a wide range of acute and chronic injuries to the workers. Acute injuries usually lead to sick leave from work and rest during which the damage recovers or heals.

Chronic injuries build up over a long period and are irreversible, producing illnesses such as the person with arthritis and spinal disorders.

Manual Handling Hazards and Injuries

Significant evidence suggests that advanced lifestyles, such as the lack of exercise and regular physical effort, have contributed to the serious long-term effects of these injuries.

The several common injuries associated with poor manual handling techniques or procedures are all musculoskeletal or characteristics and are:

  • Muscular sprains and strains – are caused when the muscular tissue (or tendon or ligament) is stretched beyond its normal capability leading to bruising, weakening, and painful inflammation of the area affected. Such injuries happen in the back of the arms and the wrists;
  • Back injuries include injuries to the discs located between the spinal vertebrae (i.e., bones) and can lead to painful prolapsed disc lesions (commonly known as the slipped disc). These types of injury can drive to other conditions or situations known as lumbago and sciatica (where pain moves down the leg);
  • Trapped Nerve – It usually happens in the back as the result of another injury but the aggravated by manual handling;
  • The Hernia is a rupture of the body cavity wall in the lower abdomen, resulting in protrusion of the part of the intestine. This situation eventually requires surgery to repair the damage;
  • Cuts, Bruising, and Abrasions – It caused by the handling of the loads with unprotected sharp corners or edges;
  • Fractures – Normally of the feet because of dropping a load. The Fractures of the hands also happen but are less frequent;
  • The Work-Related Upper Limb Disorders (WRULDs) – Cover a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders;
  • Rheumatism is a chronic disorder involving severe pain in the body’s joints. It has several causes, one of which is believed to be the muscular strains caused by poor manual handling, lifting technique, or procedure.

Pulling a load is much more comfortable for the body than pushing one. If weight or the load can only be the push, then pushing backward using the back is less stressful on the body muscles. Lifting a load from a surface at the waist level is more comfortable than lifting from the floor level, and most injuries during lifting are because of lifting & twisting at the same time. If a load has to be carried or moved, it is easier to carry or to move it at waist level and close to the body trunk. A firm grip is necessary when moving any weight or load.

By following these simple tips, you can help to avoid the hazards associated with manual handling and keep yourself safe from potential injuries. If you have concerns about your safety while performing manual tasks, be sure to speak to your employer. If you work in an industry where you are regularly required to move heavy objects by hand, it is important to be aware of the risks involved and take steps to protect yourself from potential injury.

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