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Reduce Manual Handling in the workplace

Use BIL handling solutions for safety, productivity and efficiency gains.

What is meant by Manual Handling?

Manual handling is the process whereby a person moves, lifts or supports a load by hand or by bodily force. As well as moving and lifting, manual handling includes pushing, pulling, lowering and carrying a load (any moveable object). Manual handling can occur in almost all workplaces where you will find countless examples ranging from moving small items, such as parcels, to shifting large, heavy loads, boxes and equipment.

Why should we reduce manual handling?

All employers have the responsibility to protect their employees from the risk of injury. The more manual handling that takes place the greater the risk of injury. The most common injuries involve damage to the back, joints and limbs. All injuries, minor or severe, will impact on productivity and employee wellbeing in some way. So by reducing manual handling in your work place you can expect the following benefits to follow:

How can you reduce manual handling

You could consider changes to the working environment and working practices such as making loads smaller and lighter, reducing carrying distances and eliminating the need to lift objects from floor level, providing more working space or training employees to lift safely. However these will only have limited success and are not really addressing the key issue – which is reducing or even removing completely, the need for any manual handling.

The best way of reducing manual handling in the workplace is by using mechanical lifting and handling aids, instead of asking employees and operatives to manually handle goods. This will typically involve altering existing working practises. This is the most effective way of removing or reducing the risk to employees and keeping workers healthy and at work.

There is a wide range of manual handling equipment available to enable you to avoid manual handling and this equipment is specifically designed to remove the risk of injury to the user and to make it safer and easier to move items. Although these products function in different ways, they are all designed specifically to move large, awkward, heavy or fragile loads securely and easily, whilst removing the strain from the user, therefore enabling them to transport loads more efficiently and safely than they would be able to manage by hand.
Some examples of more common pieces of manual handling equipment are shown below.

For simple ways to reduce manual handling when moving loads use:

Hand trucks / sack trucks
These are one of the most common types of manual handling equipment. They can be used to easily and securely transport goods around the workplace and beyond, avoiding the need to lift and carry by hand. These are available in a variety of styles and weight capacities from lightweight folding options to heavy duty sack trucks depending on your requirements. Below we’ve listed a few examples designed specifically to handle different tasks.

General purpose hand truck
This is a strong but simply designed sack truck that is perfect for repetitive use in a warehouse and is ideal for general use.

Folding sack trucks
Folding sack trucks are fully functional sack trolleys that can be folded up and collapsed down, making them really easy to store or transport when space is at a premium. They are really useful for lighter duties such as carrying files or documents around an office, transporting parcels and boxes, delivering goods from a car or small van, moving audio or photographic equipment and moving items in your home or garden. See our lightweight, folding hand truck.

Convertible sack trucks
These versatile convertible sack trucks are ideal for use in shops, warehouses or deliveries as they can be suitable for undertaking numerous jobs. They are upright hand trucks which convert very simply into a platform trolley.

Stair climbers
A vital piece of manual handling equipment for anyone who needs to transport goods up or down flights of stairs. The Tri-wheel design used on a stair climber rotates to allow truck to easily climb stairs transporting the load safely and with ease.

Platform trucks
With a large low surface, platform trucks are perfect for the transportation of heavy and bulky items.

Specialist Hand Trucks
For many industries, specialist hand trucks have been developed to meet the specific need of that industry such as:

Keg handling trucks for the brewery industry
Keg handling trucks for the brewery industry

Trucks for the film industry
Trucks for the film industry

Water bottle hand trucks
Water bottle hand trucks

Materials Handling Trolleys and Trucks

Trolleys are available in many designs and sizes, upright or flat and are used for the safe moving and handling of goods and products. They are used in a wide range of industries including construction, warehousing, home delivery and more.

Order picking trolley
These are ideal for use in warehouses and post rooms where multiple items need to be picked and transported to different locations. These trolleys have multiple options such as the inclusion of mesh, baskets, containers and ladders.

Board trolleys
Board trolleys are widely sought-after products in the building trade as they are great for moving large sheets of material around site. There are varying styles to cope with different types of site.

Machine skates are designed to reduce manually handling and can be used to move loads. A variety of options are available including adjustable and steerable skates.

Ideal for moving loads such as furniture and pianos.

To reduce manual handling when moving and lifting loads;

Skoots Moving System
Skoots are a hydraulically controlled portable moving system that lifts product off the floor and onto castors, allowing easy movement in any direction to the user’s desired location. The load can be moved in any direction safe in the knowledge that it will not slip under normal circumstances. The hydraulic jacks do all the work of lifting and lowering the load thus reducing the need for manual handling and the risk of injury.

To reduce manual handling when lifting loads

Toe jacks and machine jacks are used to lift heavy loads easily and safely, avoiding the need for manual lifting which could result in injury.

Forklift jacks
Designed to easily handle lifting fork lift trucks.

There are many other items of materials handling equipment available, all of which will reduce manual handling in the workplace such as:

Please call us on 01249 822 222 to discuss your materials handling needs.

We’d be delighted to hear from you and we are always ready with friendly, helpful advice and guidance. We really do know what we’re talking about, after all – we’ve been doing this successfully for 50 years now!