3.2(b): Explain principles and demonstrate how to move and handle equipment and other objects safely

Course: NVQ Level 4 Diploma In Health And Social Care (RQF)

Unit 8: Health and safety in health and social care settings

LO3: Be able to work safely in health and social care settings

Assessment: Comply with current guidelines for: 

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3.2(b): Moving and handling equipment or other objects safely

This Guidance gives advice on the control of manual materials handling tasks – i.e. activities that involve lifting, lowering, pushing or pulling a load by hand, or carrying a load on the back, shoulders or head for a significant distance or over a short distance repeatedly during the working day. This includes those jobs that involve manual handling as a major part of the work or have a significant manual handling component.

This Guidance is aimed primarily at employers and employees involved in manual materials handling (MMH) tasks, though others may find it of interest. The Guidance covers the legal requirements, general principles for control of MMH activities, assessing the risks associated with MMH activities, and controlling those risks.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require that appropriate equipment for first aid is made available at work.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 also requires the provision of suitable and sufficient equipment and facilities for first-aid, including adequate medical supplies. The provision of effective first-aid is determined by factors such as the type or risk or work activity, the environment, the number of people at risk and the duration of their exposure. Employers should therefore identify appropriate first-aid measures to protect employees from any risks reasonably foreseeable in the working area.

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The Management Regulations also require employers to provide information, instruction and training for employees that is appropriate to the nature of the work. This includes provision of suitable and sufficient equipment for first-aid.

Manual Materials Handling is one of the most significant causes of work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in Great Britain, accounting for around 500,000 cases of MSD per year. These include low back pain, shoulder/elbow problems and knee/ankle injuries. In some cases, manual handling can cause serious injuries or lead to long term health consequences.

The aim of the Guidance is to reduce the number and severity of injuries from manual materials handling. The Guidance covers many aspects of risk control but does not cover all the issues that need to be considered by employers when developing a policy on Manual Materials Handling. Advice on other specific areas can be obtained from HSE or trade associations.

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) believe there are effective ways of controlling Manual Materials Handling risks that will reduce the number of people injured at work. However, much could still be done to improve the situation since it remains one of the most significant causes of work-related ill-health.

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HSE has produced this Guidance to provide help and guidance for employers, employees, and others involved in Manual Materials Handling. The purpose is to promote good practice by providing the best available solutions to many common problems associated with manual materials handling tasks. Employers should use the information in this document to help them identify the most practical solutions to Manual Materials Handling risks in their particular working conditions.

It is always important to remember to comply with the guidelines for moving and handling equipment or other objects. This will help to ensure that both you and the person or object you are moving are safe. Some things to keep in mind when Moving and Handling Equipment or Other Objects include:

1.Plan your route before starting to move anything – this will help to avoid any accidents.

2.Use appropriate lifting technique – make sure to lift with your knees, not your back.

3.Make sure the load is stable before beginning to move it – use ropes or Industrial Strength straps if necessary.

4.Take your time when moving heavy objects – rushing can lead to accidents.

5.Use mechanical aids where appropriate – these can reduce the amount of effort needed and help to avoid the risks involved with Manual Materials Handling.

6.Make sure all employees know what to do if they get trapped by an object while moving it, or find themselves trapped in any other dangerous situation.

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