Like many people out there, we’re sure you do not give manual handling much thought. However, if you work in a warehouse or similar, then you are aware that there are many hazards that proper manual handling techniques can help you avoid.

What exactly is manual handling? It relates to the transportation of objects or materials by carrying, pushing, lowering, or pulling. Which pretty much means, it is anything you move without the assistance of workplace machinery.

Health and Safety Requirements

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) New Zealand, “a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers.”

In short, the primary duties of a PCBU are to provide and maintain a safe work environment. This also extends to providing any information, training, instruction, or supervision that is necessary to protect everyone from the health and safety risks at work.

It doesn’t stop there though. Workers must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and ensure that their actions or inactions do not harm the health and safety of others. The Act also requires them to co-operate with any reasonable health and safety policy or procedure of the PCBU and comply with any reasonable instruction given by the PBCU (e.g. using personal protective equipment).

What risks are there in manual handling?

Lifting and moving objects in the workplace
  • Look at ways to reduce lifting heavy items.
  • Move your feet rather than twist your back.
  • Keep the load in front and close to your body.
  • During long shifts, change tasks around to give muscles a break.
Sustained postures
  • Plan regular rest breaks so awkward positions are not held for too long.
  • Rotate jobs often and alter the working position as much as possible.
  • A standing work position is best when:
    • handling large bulky loads, using forceful movements, reaching, moving in and out of the work area often or when lacking knee room or space.
Repetitive actions
  • Avoid double handling, share heavy workloads and use mechanical aids where possible.
Overreaching or handling with the arms outstretched
  • Use mechanical aids where possible, use turntables, hoists, trolleys, and slides to move objects, rather than relying on body strength.
Poor workplace design
  • Get professional design advice when planning improvements or conversion.
  • Keep the things you use most often in easy to reach places. Reduce carrying distances. Plan and design for easy handling; for example, storing heavy objects at waist height, avoiding the need to open doors while carrying loads and reducing how much you need to move objects around.

How can Dexters help?

Of course, good posture and lifting techniques can help reduce the risks, but research indicates that making changes to workplace design is the most effective approach to preventing manual handling injury. Which is where our team shines. We can arrange to come out and visit your site and complete an assessment on your current situation, along with making recommendations on changes or equipment that could benefit your workplace.

Some equipment changes you may wish to consider include Dexters’ Industrial Trolleys. Proven to increase efficiency and decrease the risk of injury our wide range of trolleys are perfect for warehouses and factories. The trolleys we stock are suitable for various environments, from industrial use to service orientated purposes. We are also stock an extensive range of order picking trolleys in a variety of sizes. Sturdy and manoeuvrable, our trolleys are known and trusted for their versatility and quality.

Trolleys won’t quite make the cut? Then check out our range of material handling equipment! It is perfect for efficient lifting and shifting of pallets and other industrial units. Our range includes:

Of course, there is always the big guns! Trusting Dexters for your forklift attachment supply will equip your team with the best tools for the job. Our equipment is manufactured for continuous industrial use in warehouses and factories. All of our stock is purposed for longevity and function meaning you won’t be let down on quality.

As experienced warehouse equipment suppliers, we understand how warehouse and factory products work in practice. Our attachments for forklifts and material handling are trusted by warehouses across the country for their reliability.

Still not sure on what products suit your needs? Get in touch with our team of specialists to arrange a site visit and assessment.