Manual handling is an essential part of a business’s injury prevention and risk mitigation strategy.
Ask any employer with a manual workforce across any industry – injury costs are trending upwards. This is despite the plethora of health and safety initiatives, despite everyone having a solution to the “ageing workforce” and despite injury management being everybody’s focus.
Faced with this, everyone assumes that injuries are inevitable, that injuries are simply a “cost of doing business” and that doing the best for employees equates to simply managing the claims. But what if instead of simply managing the claims, employers had a way to prevent them?
At Bodycare we operate under the inherent belief that all employees should be able to go to and from work free from the risk of injuring themselves and that’s why we work with employers to eliminate risks in the workforce. At the core of our belief system is that being proactive is the answer to injury prevention.
We believe in developing programs to lower risk profiles and educating employees, rather than waiting for injuries to occur. Our approach is collectively known as the Bodycare Proactive Injury Prevention System and it all starts with education.
Providing manual handling training is the first step in the right direction. Employers have both a legal and ethical obligation to ensure that employees are adequately educated and have the necessary skills to perform their job tasks in a safe working environment.
By law employers are required to provide employees with training and education. According to section 21(2)(e) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985, employers are required to provide sufficient information, instruction and training to their employees to enable them to work safely and without risking their health. The training provided should help employees understand the nature of hazardous manual handling, the risks associated, the reasons why risk controls have been set in place and how to best utilise the risks controls.
Yet if you ask any of your employees I’m sure they will say that manual handling training is when someone sits them in a boardroom to run them through a set of boring and mundane slides.
At Bodycare we have evolved to understand that training needs to be as tailored and dynamic as the workplace that it is delivered in. Training needs to be engaging and have relevance to the everyday lives on the employees or at the end of the day employee will be no better off.
The answer is Think Risk.
Think Risk is a program that has been developed by the Bodycare team to remove the negative stigma associated with manual handling. “By creating an interactive program we have been able to change the way people think about manual handling and risks in the workplace” explains Bodycare, Corporate Training and Development Manager, Irene Ais. The program is customised to each individual workforce and has achieved some significant results. Not only is the program delivered in the employees working environment, it is also embedded in the workforces culture.
“It’s so important that senior managers are encouraging employees to take a proactive approach to injury prevention and education. By facilitating training programs that are engaging and relevant to employees in their day to day working lives, employers can significantly decrease the costs associated with musculoskeletal injuries in their workforce”.
The take-home message….
Manual handling training should be viewed as a continuous programs that is engrained in a company’s culture. Companies need to take a proactive approach to education in order to begin the injury prevention process.
The benefits and impacts of an integrated Manual Handling programs:
- Positive workplace culture
- Increased employee engagement and awareness
- Improved manual handling processes
- Increased workplace efficiency and productivity
- Decrease in musculoskeletal injuries associated with manual handling
- Stronger and more robust workforce