EdApp by SafetyCulture

Manual Handling

By EdApp
4 Lessons
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About this course

Lifting heavy items is part and parcel of your daily job. Let's keep you away from trouble by discussing some handling techniques you may use, the common hazards that are present in your job, and some exercises you can do to avoid injuries.

Manual Handling Lessons

Click through the microlessons below to preview this course. Each lesson is designed to deliver engaging and effective learning to your team in only minutes.

  1. Power Zones & Poor Handling
  2. Handling Techniques
  3. Risk Assessment
  4. Warm-ups

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Manual Handling course excerpts

Power Zones & Poor Handling

Manual Handling Course - Lesson Excerpt

Manual Handling Power Zones & Poor Handling

Power Zones

What are power zones? To lift with the most weight and least amount of exertion, the power zone serves as a guide.

Where are your power zones? Your power zone can be located between your mid-chest and mid-thigh.

Power Zones The rule goes like this: the farther your lift from your power zone, the lower the weight you need to lift to ensure your safety.

Power Zones This is because your power zone balances the weight based on your center of gravity.

Power Zones Power zones differ from person to person, but to give you a guide, we've provided a general rule of thumb for male and female workers when lifting.

For Males & Females Power Zones

The numbers highlighted in yellow are your power zones.

As you can see in the illustrations, the weight decreases the farther the package is lifted from your power zone.

These illustrations serve as guides to your lifting capacity based on your power zones.

Following this guide will ensure your safety from any work-related injuries.

Poor Manual Handling The Consequences

Consequence #1 Back injuries. When lifting, your back is prone to injuries, especially if you have poor posture or if the load is too heavy.

Consequence #2 Strains and sprains. This may be the case if you overexert your body beyond its limit. This happens often in the back, arms, and wrists.

Consequence #3 Hand injuries. Be wary of loads that are sharp or hot. This could also happen indirectly, like where you put your arms when lifting loads.

Consequence #4 Musculoskeletal disorders. This can manifest as pain in your upper limbs, back, and lower limbs. Listen to your body when your arms, shoulder, neck, wrists, hips, legs, and/or toes are in pain.

Consequence #5 Slip, trip, and fall injuries. Regardless of lifting, this can happen if you haven't assessed your environment before working. This can also happen if you cannot look over your load.

Consequence #6 Hernias. If there is repeated strain in your abdomen or if you are required to frequently over-exert yourself, you may develop a hernia. Hernias frequently develop on your abdomen.

Consequence #7 Foot injuries. When lifting, your foot is the most likely to fracture, bruise, or crush your bones especially when you drop your load. This can happen if you don't have a good grasp of the load while lifting or dropping loads.

Handling Techniques

Manual Handling Course - Lesson Excerpt

Manual Handling Handling Techniques

Power Lift This is the most common technique when lifting heavy objects from the ground.

Step 1 Start by placing your feet shoulder width apart. One foot should be in front of another.

Step 2 With back straight, chest and head up, push buttocks out and bend at hips.

Step 3 Use your legs to lift.

Step 4 Place the items as close as possible to your body.

Step 5 Grasp it tightly with your hands.

Which of the following should you not do when doing the Golfer's lift?

Some notes on Lifting Objects

Stretch before lifting! Stretching warms up your body, making your muscles flexible and less prone to tears and strains.

Maintain a good posture.

When transporting a load, never twist your body. If the object is heavy, twisting might dislocate your spine. Instead, use your feet to face the direction of where the object should go.

It takes conscious effort to get better at lifting safely. With constant practice, safe lifting will become your second nature.

Risk Assessment

Manual Handling Course - Lesson Excerpt

Manual Handling Risk Assessment

Injury Prevention Task-related Risks

Prevention 1 Use a lifting aid like trucks and trolleys for carrying heavy items to far drop-offs.

Prevention 2 Assess your environment and change the layout for efficiency.

Prevention 3 Don't lift heavy loads from floor-level or above shoulder-level.

Prevention 4 Work out a plan to shorten long carrying distances.

Prevention 5 Automate push and pulls by using powered handling devices.

Prevention 6 Automate some tasks to avoid repetitive handling.

Prevention 7 Take short breaks from time to time to avoid fatigue.

Prevention 8 Switch between muscle groups (arms, back, thighs, legs) by switching up your work so your muscles could rest.

Injury Prevention Environment-related Risks

Prevention 1 Assess for obstructions and move them out of the way.

Prevention 2 Use slip-resistant footwear.

Prevention 3 Avoid steps and steep ramps.

Prevention 4 Talk to the management about poor lighting and ventilation conditions.


Manual Handling Course - Lesson Excerpt

Manual Handling Warm-ups

The Benefits of Stretching It prevents injuries. Stretched muscles are more resistant to injuries than unstretched muscles. It helps you have overall body awareness. In turn, this gives you a better understanding of the movements you need to do with manual handling. It reduces muscle tension. Additionally, stretching relaxes your body. It help with coordination. By stretching, you have a better and freer sense of moving your body. It gives you a wider range of movements. Stretching your muscles improves blood circulation, thereby m making movements easier.

Dynamic Stretches

Head Stretches Stand in a neutral position and tilt your head from side to side. In the same position, move your chin up and down, to your chest.

Arm Stretches In a neutral position, circle your shoulders forward and backward, like shrugging. Lift your arms forward, up and down, to shoulder length. Afterwards, with your arms at the side, raise them behind your back, at a comfortable level. Straighten your arms at shoulder-level at each side and do wide circles.

Lower Body Stretches With your elbows flexed at 90° and your back straight, gently pivot to the side and drop on your knee. Repeat to the other side. Put your hands on your hips and do basic squats. Make sure your knees don't protrude to the same level as your toes.

Thigh Stretches Lower your body from side to side, shifting your body weight on each leg. Hands on your hips, lower each knee to the ground. Hands on your hips, flex one back knee, and lower your buttocks to stretch your hamstrings.

Tension-Breaker Stretches

Upper Torso Stretch Neutral position, raise your arms to shoulder-level, interlace them, and stretch. Neutral position, interlace your fingers to your back and stretch.

Arm & Shoulder Stretch Raise one arm overhead with the elbow flexed, doing a triceps stretch. Use your other hand to push the elbow straight. Repeat on the other side. Extend one arm straight in front of your body and place the other hand on the elbow, thus stretching your shoulders.

Abdominal Stretches Extend your arms overhead and stretch your body upwards. Extend one arm overhead and stretch your body to the side. Repeat on the other side.

Hip Flexor Stretch Start with the neutral position. Place your hands on your waist, extend one leg forward and bend your knee while stretching the other leg. Repeat on other side.

Hamstring Stretch Start with the neutral position. Extend one knee and place your hands above the said knee. Drop your waist to stretch your knee. Repeat on the other side.

Quadricep Stretch Start at a neutral position. Lift one of your legs backward to your buttocks. Secure the foot with your hand. Ensure that your knee is pointing to the ground. Repeat on the other side.

Calf Stretch Start at a neutral position, move one leg forward, and place your hands and elbows against a wall. Ensure that your back is straight. Repeat on the other side.

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Manual Handling


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