The printing trade involves a lot of manual handling, and as a result these types of activities cause the most injuries in this industry. In order to reduce the risk of injuries to your workers it is necessary to follow the laws which are in place to help you create a safe working environment. These laws are to be followed by all employees and consist of four important factors:
- Manual handling should be avoided whenever possible
- Reduce the risks in the workplace
- Provide adequate training to all employees
- Assess the risks which occur with manual handling
By following these laws it is possible to create a safer working environment for your employees.
Printer Employers Necessary Actions
There are activities which you can carry out either with the help of Health and Safety Consultants or on your own if you have the skills and knowledge. This involves carrying out risk assessments in order to identify the manual handling risks. Once you have created the risk assessments it is important to redo them each time working methods change, new equipment is introduced and on a yearly basis to make sure they are still up-to-date and adequate.
Reducing Risks when Manual Handling
You can then introduce manual handling aids and procedures to reduce the risks that have been identified. Some of the manual handling aids which can be used in the workplace include:
- Scissor lifts
- Reel conveyor trolleys
- Sack trucks
- Cylinder Trolleys
- Swing arm hoists
- Placing slings at reel stands
- Free running conveyers
- Mechanical conveyors
- Pile turners
- Elevating tables
These manual handling aids placed at the most convenient and suitable working areas can help reduce the amount of physical handling which needs to be carried out by your employees. Training will be required for all employees who will be using these aids.
Reducing Weight and Sizes of the Loads
By reducing the workloads it can be easier for the employees to handle the weights and reduce some of the risks involved. Bundles of printed materials can quickly become excessive and cause all sorts of injuries, especially musculoskeletal injuries. These injuries can result in pain for the affected person, prolonged or frequent absence in the workplace, reduced productivity and claims from employees seeking compensation for their injuries. You can figure out the best ways of reducing the weights and load sizes in various ways such as redesigning the tasks, improving the work station heights and also ensure there is adequate space available.
Provide Adequate Training for all Employees
You will need to provide training, and it is possible to find training health and safety services to assist you with this part of the law too. During the training you will need to show your employees who manual handling can cause injuries and also make them aware of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.
Further training is required in:
- Identifying unsafe working methods
- The correct and appropriate handling work systems
- Using manual handling aids correctly
- Manual handling techniques
Contact the health and safety consultants on 0800 1488 677 to find out more about manual handling and workplace safety.