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Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

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Manual handling risk assessment TILE is a process of carrying out risk evaluation arising from manual handling. Manual handling is an activity of carrying or supporting a load that includes lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, throwing and moving objects by hand or body power. It is a common practice in different industries such as manufacturing, construction, and agriculture, among others.

However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reported that the cause of more than a third of all workplace injuries, along with work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and repetitive strain injuries, is due to manual handling.

According to summary statistics from Health and Safety at Work in 2019/20, there are 480,000 new or long-term workers suffering from work-related MSDs in Great Britain alone. It is estimated that the main cause of this injury is due to manual handling, awkward or fatiguing postures and keyboard work or repetitive actions. Failing to do so safely can have serious consequences for employers and injuries to employees.

Manual handling risk assessment TILE definition

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

Manual handling risk assessment is the basis of any prevention system. It is a means for employers and/or those responsible for the safety and health of workers to analyze working conditions and take the most appropriate actions to eliminate, control or reduce the risks arising from tasks, Individual capabilities of workers, load and environment. The purpose of this blog is to expect that all safety personnel and workers will be able to identify, assess and control their health and safety risks during manual handling.

Repetitive tasks and poor lifting habits are common causes of back pain that can trigger long-term MSDs. Manual handling risk assessment defines the hazards and decides on control measures to avoid the risks of manual handling. Below we will mention the manual handling risk factor, it is important to consider these factors during manual handling risk assessments which are called TILE.

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Proper risk assessment can significantly minimize the risk of handling loads. The risk factors that make manual handling of loads dangerous depend on the operations and the circumstances in which those operations are carried out.

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE
Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

Manual handling injuries

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

Risk assessment of manual handling is necessary due to risks arising from manual handling Hazards. There are many definitions of “hazards,” but the most common definition when speaking of health and safety in the workplace is:
“A risk or hazard is any source or situation that can cause to harm the people, damage materials and adverse effect to the environment.”
Basically, a risk can cause harm or adverse effects (to individuals such as damage to health or to organizations such as loss of property or
equipment).
“Risk” is the combination of the likelihood or probability and severity of harm or consequence.” It can also apply to situations with loss of property or equipment.

  • Physical fatigue
  • Injuries can occur immediately.
  • Accumulation of small, apparently unimportant injuries, leads to chronic injuries.

The most frequent injuries are:

  • Bruises
  • Cuts and wounds.
  • Fractures
  • Skeletal muscle injuries.

Manual handling training

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

Providing manual handling training would enable employees to learn the basics of manual handling techniques and how to apply them correctly. It helps raise awareness to reduce risks in the workplace and plays an important role in ensuring that employees can carry out safe manual handling during operations. It is important that the training is relevant to the type of work to be performed. These are some of the factors that employees should consider when performing manual handling.

Manual handling risk assessment factors

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

Heavy manual work, repetitive arm and leg movements, and awkward postures can increase the risks of injuries related to manual handling at work. Often referred to by the acronym TILE (Task, Individual, Load and Environment). It can help assessors identify the risks associated with manual tasks.

The four key areas of manual handling risk assessment:

  1. Task
  2. Individual
  3. Load and
  4. Environment

Task: The Manual Handling Activity

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

This key area focuses on the tasks an employee must perform. It involves the processes and steps necessary to perform an activity including the appropriate movements of the employee, such as pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying objects, as well as bending or turning at the waist at any point in the process. Helps assess employee needs, including adequate opportunities to rest and recover.

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE
Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

 

A physical effort can involve risk, particularly in the lower lumbar region, in the following cases:

  • If it is too intense.
  • If it can only be done by torsion or bending movement of the trunk.
  • If it can cause a sudden movement of the load.
  • If performed while the body is in an unstable position.
  • If it is about raising or lowering the load with the need to modify the grip.
  • Too frequent or prolonged physical efforts involving the spine in particular.

Individual: The person involved and their capabilities

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

This area focuses on the capabilities of each employee to carry out the task. It is important to assess individual attributes such as age, pre-existing health conditions or previous injuries, acquired training, strength level, height, and flexibility.

The following constitute individual risk factors:

  • Lack of physical fitness to perform the tasks.
  • The inappropriateness of the clothes, footwear or other PPE worn by the worker.
  • Insufficient or inadequate knowledge or training.
  • The previous existence of dorsal-lumbar pathology.

Load: The object that is moved or transported

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

The evaluation of the load is not only based on its weight, but also on other factors such as size, shape and surfaces. These factors can affect the handler’s balance, grip on the object and vision, which could make moving or transporting it difficult, even dangerous.

  • Manual handling of a load can present a risk, in particular dorsal-lumbar, in the following cases:
  • As a general indication, the maximum recommended weight not to exceed (under ideal handling conditions) is 25 kg.
  • If it is bulky or difficult to hold.
  • If it is in an unstable balance or its content is at risk of displacement.
  • If the load, due to its external appearance or its consistency may cause injury to the worker, in particular in the event of an impact.

 

Environment: The Manual Handling Activity Zone

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE
Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

It is essential to check the activity zone, especially in confined spaces. An area with uneven ground can cause tripping that can lead to accidents, near misses, or worse, fatalities. Other environmental factors, such as poor ventilation, poor lighting, working in direct sunlight, and weather conditions, can also affect the workers during manual handling.

  • Insufficient period of physiological rest or recovery.
  • If the situation or the work environment does not allow the worker to manually handle loads at a safe height and in a correct posture.
  • If the floor or the work surface has unevenness that implies the handling of the load at different levels.
  • If the ground is unstable.
  • If the temperature, humidity or air circulation is inadequate.
  • If the lighting is not adequate.
  • Lifting, lowering or transporting distances too great.

5 principles of manual load handling

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

All employers are required by the Manual Handling Operations Regulation to prevent, assess, and reduce the risk of manual handling injuries. The proper application of manual handling can help the organization to:

  • Reduce the risk of injury from dangerous manual handling;
  • Assess the risks of manual handling and apply control measures according to the hierarchy of controls for operations that cannot be avoided
  • Avoid dangerous manual handling and limit the movements of employees considering the TILE.
Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE
Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

 

Here are the 5 principles of manual handling that can be fully exploited for safer lifting practices in the workplace.

  1. Plan: Before lifting or carrying an object, be sure to follow the TILE in assessing the area. It would help assess whether manual handling involves strenuous activity and long distances so employees can plan where to rest and recover.
  2. Position: Make sure to load the object evenly and use the handling aids to maximize the power of an employee. Establish good posture with your feet shoulder-width apart and bring your load as close as possible before lowering to pick up the object.
  3. Lifting: Whenever possible, use both hands when lifting an object and be sure to keep the load and the person’s torso aligned and neutral before moving. Use your thigh and leg not your back.
  4. Proceed: Moving from one place to another should be done with caution. Employees must ensure that there is a clear view of the path of travel and that it is unobstructed to avoid tripping while performing manual handling.
  5. Placing: Do not drop the load immediately, but lower it slowly, firmly and gently upon arrival at the destination to protect yourself from unnecessary strain and injury.

Safe manual handling technique

Manual Handling Risk Assessment TILE

  1. Bend your legs,
  2. Keep your back straight at all times, and keep your chin tucked in.
  3. Do not over-bend the knees.
  4. Do not twist the trunk or adopt forced postures.
  5. Smooth lifting, without giving sudden jerks.
  6. Avoid twists.
  7. Load attached to the body.
  8. Lowering the load the same way.
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