Those involved with manual handling sure do love an acronym, we have LITE, TILE, even TILEO.
But what is TILE?
Well, actually, all the above mean the same thing.
Using TILE? Task, Individual, Load, Environment.
Or, if you’re going down the LITE route… Load, Individual, Task, Environment.
Feeling fancy? Throw an O on the end and call it Other (or Other factors)!
So, what does it all mean?
Well TILE is used for a quick way to remember the things you need to be assessing when it comes to manual handling, and the risks associated with manual handling activities.
Tasks can have an impact on the need to twist or stoop, or cause excessive lifting, lowering or carrying.
You need to think about the task, and any improvements that can be made. If the task can be adapted to improve posture, reduce physical effort and allow for rest periods this can help to reduce the risk with the activity.
The individual is the person who will be doing the manual handling. Their strength and capabilities can have an impact, but so can knowledge of the load and task, along with training and experience.
Have they been trained in safe manual handling and lifting technique? Do they know how the handle the load properly?
The load itself can have a big impact on the risk level of the manual handling activity. How heavy the load is should of course be a consideration, but there are other characteristics of the load that should be assessed. Is the load stable or hazardous? Does it have sharp edges or any other elements that make it difficult to grasp?
If the load can be split or altered to make it easier to handle, then this can also be a good way to reduce risk.
Where the manual handling will take place should also be considered when risk assessing manual handling operations. For example, is the flooring slippery or uneven creating slip or trip hazards? Are space restrictions preventing good posture?
Where manual handling is taking place outside additional considerations such as wind, rain, ice and temperature can also affect safety and should be planned for.