What is the background
to the Seminar?
Manual handling operations occur in an immense variety
of jobs. While there have long been guidelines on the maximum acceptable
weights which employees should be asked to carry, there is a dearth
of objective data or guidelines for activities in which there are variations
in the weights involved and/or the frequency with which and/or the
height at which they are handled.
In some types of work, such as patient
handling, the hazards are readily identifiable, though reasonably
practicable ways of reducing the risk are sometimes not. In other types
it is questionable whether the 'handling operations' come within
the meaning of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations. While back
upper limb problems are popularly understood to be associated with
the physical demands of work, the available scientific evidence is
equivocal and the moves towards an evidence-based approach to the
prevention and management of musculo-skeletal disorders has challenged
and widely-held beliefs.
The Health and Safety Executive has recently
issued new guidance on the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992,
by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002,
which came into force on the 17th September 2002. Alleged breaches
of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations are often cited in
personal injury claims for musculo-skeletal disorders. An evaluation
(Contract Research Report 346/2001: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/
commissioned by the HSE, of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations
associated guidance identified 'Fear of compensation claims' as one
of the greatest motivators for both large and small organisations
to implement the Regulations.
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