For those working in health and social care, moving and handling is an unavoidable part of the working day, but done incorrectly can lead to a number of complications including back pain and musculoskeletal disorders, accidents, and problems for the person being moved.
Having a clear moving and handling policy in place at work is the first key step to addressing any potential problems. This should include factors such as:
- What risks there are to employees and those being moved
- Acknowledging the need to reduce the risk
- Stating clear roles and responsibilities
- Setting expectations with employees on who is responsible for what
- Providing appropriate training and equipment
- Risk assessment details
- Compliance monitoring
- Supporting those who have been injured
Both employers and employees have responsibilities regarding risk reduction when moving and handling. While employers must ensure they take measures to assess the potential risks and manage those accordingly, employees must follow those measures and take care that their actions don’t put anyone at risk.
Risk assessments are the major focus in moving and handling; without identifying the risk appropriate measures cannot be taken to avoid those hazards. The person completing the risk assessment must be a competent person, which requires specific training. The two types of risk assessment involved in this environment would be a generic risk assessment which focusses on the overall needs, and an individual risk assessment which examines moving and handling requirements for the person being moved. Each person using the facilities will have different abilities and wishes, so an individual risk assessment for each user will identify how best to handle them.
Any risk assessment done must be recorded as a legal requirement if an employer has five staff or more, and must be reviewed regularly.
Training in how to accurately carry out a risk assessment can mean the difference between a safe move and causing an injury. Aspire Training Team are an accredited provider for Moving and Handling training, and our course covers:
- Lifting, moving and handling techniques – both practical learning with hoists, slings and stand aids, as well as theoretical learning.
- Risk assessments
- Safe moving principles, policies and procedures
- Spine and back pain risk factors
For more information on moving and handling, or on carrying out risk assessments visit the Health and Safety Executive website. To book onto a Moving and Handling course run by the Aspire Training Team call 01202 551553, email email@example.com or visit the section of the website here.