Of all manual handling injuries in the manufacturing sector, it is estimated that approximately one-third are musculoskeletal injuries which occur when a person is carrying or lifting a heavy load.
Engineering & Manufacturing
Cost to Employers
With 17.5% of all non-fatal injuries reported to the HSA in 2015 coming from the manufacturing industry and manual handling-related injuries accounting for approximately one-third of all non-fatal injuries reported to the HSA* in 2014-2015; reducing the incidences of these injuries is high on the agenda in the manufacturing and engineering industry.
Such injuries are costly for employers in many ways, including:
- Sick pay.
- Lost productivity.
- Legal fees.
- Injury benefit.
Additionally, there is the risk of compensation claims for injuries at work, which may well affect future insurance premiums.
Key System Failures
The following are all key system failures which your company could be exposed to and which could work against you during an employee compensation claim*
- No risk assessment.
- Lack of work plans to keep systems safe.
- No provision or maintenance of mechanical aids.
- Lack of adequate training.
- No evidence of work supervision.
We can help you with advice and the provision and maintenance of mechanical aids, along with full training in the use of our lifting units. Ensuring you have the right systems and equipment in place will reduce the risk of your company being liable if such a claim is made.
What is Manual Handling?
Manual handling is defined in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 as:
“Manual Handling involves any transporting or supporting of a load by one or more employees, and includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving a load, which by reason of its characteristics or unfavourable ergonomic conditions, involves risk, particularly of back injury, to employees”.
Most manufacturing facilities have three key stages in their production process:
- Good outwards/packing.
Within each of these three areas, it is necessary to go through each application and activity, ensuring that risk assessments are carried out.
Activities Requiring Mechanical Aids within the Manufacturing Industry
With musculoskeletal injuries in mind, the following is a useful, but not exhaustive, list of situations that commonly arise in the manufacturing and engineering sectors during the production process:
- Repeated manipulation of the load at a distance from the trunk of the body.
- Repeated bending of the trunk to lift the load.
- A very large load that is difficult to grasp.
- Repeated handling of the load above shoulder height or at floor level.
- Lifting that involves twisting of the trunk.
- The load needs to be carried over a long distance through a cluttered or hazardous area.
When manual handling activities involve such risks of injury (particularly to the back) due to unfavourable ergonomic conditions, the basic principle of UK regulations is that the employer must take measures to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury. How protected are your company and staff?
How We Can Help
We can offer solutions for just about any manufacturing-based manual handling application. If we don’t have a standard device that will solve the lifting problem, then we are the UK specialists in the design and manufacture of bespoke handling solutions and can build our customers a unique lifting solution to match their requirements. We are adept at drawing on our 40 years of experience to define and build a device that will solve their problem.
For example, our work with Weinerberger involved not only items that were heavy and difficult to grasp, but they needed to be rotated in several multi-axis movements to carry out the application.
Similarly, we recently supplied a bespoke solution to a precision engineering company on a limited budget, that involved lifting 35kg steel billets and rotating them through 90 degrees so that they could be inserted into CNC machining equipment.
As engineers and manufacturers ourselves, we use many of our lifting solutions in our own factory on a daily basis. Click to find out more about how we can support you in ensuring your equipment is being thoroughly examined and serviced.
*As reported in the HSA’s “Summary of Workplace Injury, Illness and Fatality Statistics 2014-2015”