GWO Basic Safety Training V14.0
MANUAL HANDLING RISK ASSESSMENT
This is an instructor guidance elaborating the concept of aggravating factors related to manual handling risk assessment. The baseline of assessing manual lifts is the load weight and the distance from the spine in the lower back (the reaching distance), respectively. The assessment chart below will assist you appraising manual handling. While assessing manual handling, a number of additional risk factors to the lift must be considered; which, individually and especially combined, will enhance the strain on the muscular-skeletal system. These factors are the so-called aggravating factors. Prior to delivering the Manual Handling Module, instructors should review local instructions and risks assessments for the tasks planned, including assessment of whether a given task should be solved by the participants by using a handling aid.
1. LOAD WEIGHT AND REACHING DISTANCE
The load weight compared to the reaching distance (R) indicates the gross strain on the lifting persons back. It must be taken into consideration when the person performing the lift is carrying only a part of the load, e.g. when the load is tipped onto one end and partly resting on the ground or when the lift is performed by more than one person. The assessment chart below guides you to evaluate and determine whether the strain on the muscular-skeletal system is harmful to health and control measures must be taken. The reaching distance is illustrated by (R) in the diagram to the left. The diagram represents (R) as the lateral distance between the centre of gravity of the load and the lifting persons lower back (the spinal column of the lumbar curve). The centre of gravity of the load is usually found right between the handle points of the load.
When the load is tipped and partly resting on the ground or when the lift is performed by more than one person, the reaching distance is measured from the lifting persons lower
back (the spinal column of the lumbar curve) to a line between the handle points of the load.
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