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Manual Material Handling Safety Dos and Don’ts

Manual Material Handling Safety Dos and Don’ts
Manual Material Handling Safety Dos and Don’ts

Manual Material Handling Safety Dos and Don’ts



Manual Material Handling Safety: Portable items or materials handled manually by pushing, pulling, lifting, lowering, carrying, holding or restraining can cause serious injury or prolong occupational fatigue, back pain and other types of injuries. The type and extent of the injury depends on the load characteristics, the handling method, the ergonomic working conditions, and the work environment.
Most injuries are recorded when lifting and lowering heavy objects and have resulted in strain or back pain. Bending and twisting are other causes of back pain or back injury.
Physical injuries are caused by falling poorly stacked material, slipping, and falling while transporting material on wet / uneven ground or slippery surfaces.
These Dos and Don'ts of manual material handling can be used to educate your employees and workers on safe material handling techniques, the hazards associated with manual material handling and the potential risks of injury, including strains and sprains caused by improper lifting, lowering, carrying, etc.

Hazards in manual material handling

  1. Load too heavy for the individual task.
  2. Load not accessible to lift.
  3. Uncomfortable shape of the object or material to be held or lifted.
  4. Sharp edge material.
  5. Wet or slippery object or material that makes it difficult to grip.
  6. Unstable substances or material changing center of gravity with movement
  7. Invisibility due to carrying too big material that covers or obstacle to your view.
  8. In competency of personnel
  9. Unsafe conditions such as wet floor, uneven surfaces, obstacles, sharp slope of gradient.
  10. Carrying load over long distance
  11. Poor work environment such as inadequate lighting, poor housekeeping, extreme working conditions, bad weather, narrow work area, etc.


Risk in Manual Material Handling

  1. Risk of musculoskeletal disorders due to repeated work ergonomics such as uncomfortable postures to access the article stored in a difficult or inaccessible place.
  2. Strain, sprain or injury to the back when lifting a load that is too heavy for the individual.
  3. There may be a risk of falling material or personal injury when the load is not accessible to lift or grab.
  4. Risk of falling material due to uncomfortable shape of object or material to be held or lifted.
  5. There is a risk of cut injury when manually handling sharp materials.
  6. A wet or slippery object or material may fall and injure the person as it makes it difficult to grasp correctly.
  7. There is a risk of material or person falling when handling unstable substances or changing the centre of gravity of the material with movement.
  8. The person can strike or collide with objects when handling too tall or too large materials that cover or obstruct their visibility.
  9. There is a risk of personal injury or property damage if the person does not know the correct technique for manual material handling.
  10. A person may slip and fall during manual material handling due to unsafe conditions such as wet ground, uneven surfaces, obstacles, steep incline.
  11. The person can lose control and cause the load to fail when carrying a load long distance.
  12. There may be a risk of personal injury or falling material due to poor working environment such as inadequate lighting, poor housekeeping, extreme working conditions, inclement weather, narrow work area, etc.


Manual Material Handling Safety Dos and Don’ts

Following are the safety Dos and Don’ts of manual material handling which can be share with employees and worker to make them aware about basic safety precaution during material handling.

Dos

  1. Evaluate weight, distance and hazards before lifting the load.
  2. Wear appropriate PPE such as hand gloves and safety shoes to prevent cuts, abrasions or crush does injury.
  3. Make sure the route is clear for the movement of material.
  4. Loads that are too large or too heavy must be carried by two people or by mechanical means.
  5. Whenever possible, use mechanical means for heavy material handling.
  6. Before actually starting the lifting operation, try lifting as a test with less effort to check load and comfort.
  7. Keep the load close to the body, while physically lifting the material.
  8. While lifting, the feet should be hip width apart for balance and to provide a stable base for the lift.
  9. Bend your knees keeping your back straight to lift the load and the hands are as near to the waist as possible.
  10. Keep your arms straight and within the limit formed by the legs.
  11. Continue lifting smoothly and adjust the weight or body posture as necessary.
  12. If necessary, stop to rest en route.


Don’ts

  1. Don’t use makeshift arrangements to lift material.
  2. Don’t drag chains, ropes or cables, etc. on the ground.
  3. Don’t manually lift more than 50 kg for men or 30 kg for women.
  4. Don’t try to lift or carry the material too heavy or too large for individual.
  5. Don’t hold the load with your fingertips, use the palm of your hand instead.
  6. Don’t carry loads that could obscure the view of the path.
  7. Don’t bend your back to lift loads.
  8. Avoid jerky or twisting movements.


Summary
Manual material handling includes the action of pushing, pulling, lifting, lowering, carrying, holding or restraining, etc. that can cause acute or long-term occupational injuries. The type and extent of the injury depends on the characteristics of the material such as load, shape, condition of the material, method of handling, ergonomic working conditions, and the working environment.

Training, awareness, and education in manual material handling techniques help prevent personal injury. Safety Dos and Don'ts of manual material handling can help employees and workers to handle material safely to avoid injuries or damage to property.

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