Manual Handling Incident

Safety Alert: Manual Handling Incident

Safety Alert No: 47

Date: 14 June 2013

Whilst carrying out an assigned task an apprentice attempted to pull away from a wall stack of Fibre cement sheeting so he could confirm there was a wall box to the rear. The stack overbalanced and landed on his ankle and trapped him underneath. The stack weighed over 500kg!

The OSH Regulations 1996 clearly outline the requirements for Manual handling

3.4. Manual Handling

(1) In this regulation -

manual handling means any activity requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold, or restrain a person, animal or thing.

(2) Without limiting regulations 3.1, a person who, at a workplace is an employer, the main contractor or a self-employed person must, as far as practicable -

(a) identify each hazard that is likely to arise from manual handling at the workplace; and

(b) assess the risk of injury or harm to a person resulting from each hazard, if any, identified under paragraph (a); and

(c) consider the means by which the risk may be reduced.

It is recommended that all Manual handling guidelines are followed to reduce hazards and risks and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all personnel in the workplace.

In a situation like this incident – be mindful that with flexible loads and large weights the tipping balance point can change very quickly and the weight will result in the load moving at speed.

Asking for help or moving the sheets one at a time may have prevented this incident.

Best practice would be to store this type of material flat on the ground in a low traffic area where they do not present a trip hazard.

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