TOOL BOX TALKS - Disability Safe

Manual Handling
What is Manual Handling
Any activity requiring the use of force
exerted by a person to lift, push, pull, carry
or otherwise move, hold or restrain any
Manual Handling
• About 32% of workplace injuries are caused by
manual handling
• Injuries usually involve the back, neck or
• Injuries are caused my sudden movements as
well lifting something heavy or wear and tear
from repetitive work
Why Hazardous
• High force – lifting something really heavy, pushing a
heavy trolley, straining
• Unsafe awkward posture – bending/twisting
• Sustained work – holding a heavy item for some time
• Repetitive work – using the same muscles, tendons,
ligaments over and over
• Unstable/unbalanced loads which may be difficult to
Spinal structure and posture
There are 3 main curves in
the spine
• Cervical (inward)
• Thoracic (outward)
• Lumbar (inward)
Structure and function of spine
Function: support body in
an upright posture, and
protect the spinal cord
• Vertebrae (body
• Discs (cushion the
vertebrae, act as shock
• Spinal cord (nerves)
Organisation Manual Handling
Policy and Safe Work Practices for
specific tasks
Safe Lifting Zone
Avoid lifting above here
Most desirable range
Avoid lifting below here
Practical Strategies to reduce risk of
Plan ahead – complete risk assessment
Don’t rush
Use lifting equipment
Seek assistance
Avoid twisting by moving your feet
Stretch/warm up prior to manual handling
If an unusual or unfamiliar task take a step back
and think about how to do it safely
• Maintain good posture
• Use safe lifting techniques
Safe Lifting Technique
Size up the load
Move as close to the load as possible
Position your feet apart under the shoulders
Brace abdominals and shoulders
Incline trunk forward, hips and knees bent, push bottom
backwards so shoulders are over the centre of gravity of the
Test the weight of the load – is it safe to lift?
Keep load close to body and keep head and chest up
Straighten up by extending hips and knees
Change direction with your feet – avoid twisting

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