Manual handling in construction involves lifting, carrying, and moving heavy materials – a common and essential task. However, the associated risks cannot be underestimated. HSE inspectors have stressed the importance of the following steps for both employers and workers:
1. Knowing the Risks: The first step in prevention is being aware of potential hazards associated with manual handling.
2. Risk Reduction through Planning: Employers should design workflows to minimise manual handling or replace heavy materials with more manageable alternatives.
3. Implementing Sensible Control Measures: When elimination or substitution isn't feasible, it's crucial to use proper control measures to protect workers from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). These include aches, pain, and discomfort in joints, muscles, and bones.