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Manual Handling

Manual Handling



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Published by carthi

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Published by: carthi on Dec 01, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Manual handling
in the textiles industry
Manual handling
in the textiles industry
What are theproblems?
In textiles, manual handling causesmore than a quarter of the work-relatedinjuries reported each year. Around60% of these involve an injury to theback, and some result in permanentdisablement. Many injuries arise fromstresses and strains over a period of timerather than from a single event.
What are thecauses?
Manual handling problems often stemfrom poor workplace or job design.Among the most common examples of risky activities are jobs involving: heavyor awkward loads; difficulty in gripping;excessive use of force; repetition;twisting and other awkward postures.
What is the cost?
Costs to the company can come from:loss of production; poor product quality;sickness payments; accident injuryclaims and higher insurance premiums;high staff turnover; and retraining.Possible costs to the individual are: pain;possible permanent disability; time off work; and loss of earnings.
What needs to bedone: Assessingthe risk
In the Health and Safety Executive(HSE) guidance on the ManualHandling Operations Regulations1992,
a clear hierarchy of measuresis established:
Avoid hazardous manual handlingso far as is reasonably practicable.
Assess any hazardous handlingoperations that cannot be avoided.
Reduce the risk of injury so far as isreasonably practicable.The Regulations cover ‘the transportingor supporting of loads by hand or bybodily force’. For example, they coverbale handling as well as moving drumsof chemicals in a dyehouse. See theguidance booklet on the Regulations
foran example of an assessment checklist.
Avoiding manualhandling
Ask the following questions:
Is manual handling necessary?
Could the desired result be achievedin another way?
Can the operations be mechanisedor automated?
Manual handling
in the textiles industry
The main risks associated with manualhandling activities are:
the task - twisting, stooping,strenuous pushing and pulling etc;
the load - weight, size, shape,stability, ease of grasp;
the work environment - constraintson posture, poor floor surfaces, hot,cold or humid conditions;
individual capabilities - healthproblems, the effects of protectiveequipment and clothing.The Manual Handling Regulations donot cover the physical effort required inwork which does not involve transportingor supporting a load. For instance, theaction of lashing down the ropes on awagon after loading is not covered, norare the operation of controls of weavingor spinning machinery. Nevertheless, if the weaver or spinner cannot reach thecontrols easily, or operating the controlsneeds excessive force, injury can result.These risks would be considered in therisk assessment required by theManagement of Health and Safetyat Work Regulations 1992.
Assess the risks
In deciding whether an activity presentsa risk, consider the following:
Is excessive force required?
Are there any complaints of achesand pains from workers? Also check with safety committees.
Is there any evidence of improvised changes to controlsor equipment?
Are tools or equipment the wrongsize for the user, or for the job tobe done?
Does the work require awkwardpostures such as stooping orstretching?
Is there sufficient space to movearound?
Are there any reports of accidentsor injuries associated with manualhandling?
Ask the employees which tasks arethe most arduous.
Practical ways toreduce the risks
A recent study of handling operationsin the textile industry identifiedseveral common tasks wherehandling injury risk factors wereevident. The following examplesillustrate some of these factors andshow possible ways of reducing oreliminating them.

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