What is the safest way to handle heavy loads?

One in five reportable accidents in the catering industry are caused by manual handling. Most injuries are back strains, but many also involve arm strains and sprains due to repetitive operations.

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, your employer should carry out a risk assessment. The risk assessment should cover the tasks, the loads, the working environment and the individual worker's capability.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 stipulate that unless it is not reasonably practicable, your employer must avoid the need for manual handling by using equipment instead (trolleys, hoists, castors etc.) or by reorganising the bar or kitchen.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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