Lifting Safety Guide: Get a handle on Manual Handling!

Training-Pic-1-150x150-2HSE reports that manual handling injuries affect more than one million people per year! Despite these figures, it’s surprisingly easy to overlook the dangers associated with manual handling tasks. Sometimes the risks are obvious, such as when you’re lifting a particularly heavy item. However, lighter items and simpler tasks can also present hidden dangers. For example, injuries can be sustained by simply carrying an item for a long time, or using repetitive movements.

The consequences of overlooking these hazards can be serious, so how should you prepare yourself and/or your employees for manual handling work? Take a look at our quick guide to find out:

What is manual handling?

It covers a range of tasks, such as lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing and pulling.

What are the costs of poor manual handling?

You might be surprised to learn that one third of all workplace injuries are as a result of manual handling. Manual handling injuries include MSDs, which affect the muscles, joints and tendons of the arms, legs, back and shoulders.

Injury isn’t the only implication to consider. Financial consequences for the employer can be significant including wages, overtime and civil liability.

What are the correct techniques to use?

Shutterstock-Manual-Handling_loBefore lifting or moving an item, consider whether it’s possible to move it mechanically. A pallet truck, hand-powered hoist or conveyer, are all examples of handling aids you could use to make the task safer.

If the item does need to be moved manually, then here are some simple tips that will reduce the risk of injury:

  • consider whether it’s possible to make the load smaller or lighter before lifting
  • can the work area be modified to reduce carrying distances or twisting movements?
  • make sure the person lifting avoids bending forward. Instead, they should squat and bend at the knees before slowly lifting the item
  • objects should not be lifted above shoulder height
  • items being carried or lifted should be held close to the body
  • ensure the person doing the lifting has been trained to lift as safely as possible.

How can Manual Handling Training help?

If you’re an employer, then you have a legal requirement to provide your workforce with manual handling training. Training will ensure that workers understand the most common injuries, when they occur and how to prevent them. The training offered by The Hireman focuses on:

  • Understanding lifting techniques
  • How poor lifting techniques cause injury
  • Understanding MSDs and how to prevent them
  • Learning safe lifting techniques and when to use handling aids

If you would like to learn more about the courses we offer then click to view the Manual Handling Course Page

Separating fact from fiction: common working at height myths

Training-Pic-1-150x150-238% of injuries in the workplace are due to falls from height. This shocking statistic highlights the importance of putting in place sensible measures to prevent falls. However, there are a lot of common mistakes and misunderstandings when it comes to the law and the guidelines surrounding working at height.

Let’s take a look at a few of these myths and set the facts straight!

HSE have banned the use of ladders on building sites

FALSE: Ladders and stepladders are a practical solution for many tasks in the workplace. Ladders can be used when working at height where using other equipment isn’t justified due to the low risk. Remember, you must be experienced and knowledgeable in order to assess the risk accurately. If the task will be of long duration (more than 30 minutes) then other safety measures will need to be put in place. Scaffolding and mobile access towers are examples of working at height equipment that may be necessary in situations where it isn’t safe to use a ladder.

You need to have a qualification to work with ladders or mobile access towers

FALSE: It is not necessary to have a ‘qualification’ to use a ladder. However, you do need to have the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience to use a ladder correctly and safely. With that in mind, it’s necessary for anyone planning to work with ladders to receive training from a competent and experienced individual.

So what exactly constitutes a ‘competent’ person? In order to understand this, we need to refer to the Working at Height Regulations 2005.

According to the regulations, a duty holder must ensure that:

  • all work at height is properly planned and organised;
  • those involved in work at height are competent;
  • the risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used;
  • the risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled; and
  • equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained.

Working at Height Training LondonDo you need Working at Height Training?

If you or your employees are working with ladders, stepladders or mobile access towers then it’s essential to be competent in erecting, using and inspecting equipment. A qualification may not be legally required, but the Working at Height Regulations state that you must be competent, and you may be asked to ‘prove’ your competence. By investing in Working at Height Training you will be reassured that the chances of being involved in a fall are significantly reduced. Here at The Hireman we offer working at height training in the safe use of ladders, steps and PASMA towers through the following courses:

PASMA Towers for Users

We provide a PASMA Tower for Users course at our Central London depot. If travelling to our depot is not convenient or practical, we also offer on-site PASMA courses around London. Please visit the PASMA training page for further details.

Ladder and Steps Safety Training

Our Ladder and Steps training course is also available at our Central London training facility. The course only takes half a day and focuses on the health and safety precautions that should be taken when working at height. Learn more by visiting the Ladder and Steps Training page.

For further information on our health and safety courses, please browse the website or telephone Ian Alland on 0207 864 8968.

Here it is! Welcome to the Brand New Website for our Training Department

The past year has been monumental here at The Hireman! In 2015 we celebrated our 30th anniversary and have since launched our dedicated sales website, Site Supplies. From humble begins in 1985, trading from an old dockers shelter, who’d have thought that thirty years on we would have three depots across London, with continual expansion of our reach and services! And now we are celebrating the launch of a brand new dedicated website for our successful training department.

Here you can find a wide range of Health and Safety Training courses, including the popular PASMA Towers for Users, Abrasive Wheel and Manual Handling. The launch of our new website comes alongside the recent investment in new training equipment and the addition of several new courses, including First Aid, AED and CPR and CAT and Genny.

Thanks to our new website, it is easier than ever to access the information you need about our courses and to book quickly & conveniently online. Simply select the course, date and number of places and we’ll get back to you to confirm.

Contact us on 0207 232 5640 or at

New Training Site!

Welcome to The Hireman’s new health and safety training website!

Designed for easy use on mobiles and tablets as well as PCs and laptops, this new website will make it quicker and easier to book health and safety training courses wherever you are.

Just select a course from the menu, pick a date and the number of attendees and you’re ready to head to the checkout and pay with your credit or debit card. For account customers all you need is your account number. We also offer a ‘pay on the day’ option where you can reserve places online and pay when you arrive.

It’s now easier than ever to get help with your booking thanks to our live chat feature. There’ll be someone ready to answer your queries online throughout the working day and even out of hours you can use the chat box to send us an email and we’ll answer your query as soon as we can.

training site pic

The Hireman is a PASMA and CIEH accredited training provider. More information can be found on each course page.