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28th February, 2017

Manual Handling? Think LITE!

Manual handling is apparent in nearly every workplace in one form or another.

With manual handling being the leading cause of musculoskeletal disorders at work, it’s important to know how much you can safely lift, and use good handling techniques.

One of the important requirements under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations is to assess the risk.

When manual handling, and assessing the risk, always think LITE.

LITE = Load, Individual, Task, Environment.

These four elements will help you to assess various considerations about the activity and the risks involved.

Load Considerations:

  • Heavy loads
  • Bulky loads
  • Unstable loads
  • Difficult to grasp
  • Sharp edges
  • Hot or hazardous loads

Individual Considerations:

  • Strength of individual
  • Knowledge of the load and task
  • Training and experience

Task Considerations:

  • Avoid twisting the trunk
  • Avoid stooping or reaching upwards
  • Prevent holding or manipulating loads at a distance from the trunk
  • Avoid tasks that demand poor posture
  • Assess frequent physical effort
  • Avoid excessive lifting or lowering
  • Prevent excessive carrying distances
  • Prevent excessive pushing or pulling of loads
  • Avoid sudden movement of loads
  • Minimise prolonged physical effort
  • Allow for rest or recovery periods

Environment Considerations:

  • Space restrictions preventing good lifting postures
  • Uneven, slippery, defective, unstable floors
  • Changes in floor level such as steps or ramps
  • Windy or dusty atmosphere
  • Overcrowding of work spaces
  • Extreme temperature changes
  • Physical obstructions
  • Poor lighting
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This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.

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