Manual handling training is a necessary requirement in a lot of companies if not all companies. Irish manual handling regulation requires it and the health of your employees and the financial health of your company requires it too. Many court cases have arose from employees seeking compensation due to an injury received at the workplace. Could some of these injuries and accidents been prevented by proper training that made employees aware of the risks and of the correct manual handling techniques. In a lot of cases, put simply, yes.
A conscious and caring approach to health and safety at work is the responsibility of every company’s management to their employees. Waiting until an employee gets injured to start manual handling training might be too late and as we will see during our series of articles on court cases in Ireland and the U.K. , the costs and reputation to the business can be just as hurtful as the injury to the employee.
In “An Analysis of the Causes and Costs of Manual Handling Incidents in the Health Care Sector” by the Health and Safety Authority as far back as 2007, -“The proportion of incidents associated with manual handling is particularly high in the wholesale and retail trade (47%), manufacturing (40%) and health and social care (38%). The most common type of injury in 2006 was ‘physical stress or strain to the body’ (41%) and the most frequently injured body part was the back (24%).”
Employees reported that handling patients and other household tasks were physically demanding. Naturally this is an area that would require the proper instruction and training to prevent any injury to the employee.
Employees show a more conscious approach to handling if trained in manual handling as outlined in the report referring to nursing staff in the U.K. “The results showed that in organisations with a more positive safety culture, the nursing staff demonstrated more complex decision making about patient handling tasks and 16 had lower levels of associated postural risk”.
Should an injury occur the costs to employers can mount
- Replacing an injured employee with another
- Possible court proceedings and associated costs
- Compensation pay-outs if a case is successful
Minimising the possibility of workplace injuries is not just a matter of regulation compliance but common sense company responsibility and care to employees. Simple, effective and timely manual handling training can contribute to a safe and harmonious workplace with safety of all a priority.
Watch out for our series of articles on compensation cases in Ireland and the U.K. as a result of manual handling injuries.