Is There A Problem With Manual Handling In The Office

Let’s face it, Offices are not the most dangerous places of work, or at least they shouldn’t be. There are hazards like any workplace, but is Manual handling really an issue in the office? Well, yes! From time-to-time we have to re-arrange the office and this inevitably leads to Manual Handling, whether we have ever called it that or not. Generally, our only real lifting and moving in the average office is associated with stationery, such as the boxes of copier paper, folders and files. Most of these are not that significant and certainly wouldn’t call for any special thought to be given to them. The only significant loads are the deliveries from the office supply company and most of these are normally delivered as close as possible. So the problem of Manual Handling in the Office, is normally limited to those office moves and the movement of large pieces of furniture, rather than the everyday activities. If you do have to consider a move around in the office, what should you be considering? Firstly, think about what can be moved easily without moving furniture. Good examples are items such as: stocks of stationery, archive files, current files to which we will not need access for a day or so. Secondly, plan where items of furniture could be moved to, ideally out of the office altogether. This will create space within the office to move the remaining items around. Thirdly, get the input of other staff from within the office as to the easiest way to move the office around. Finally, get some extra help it you are going to need it. Larger items of furniture, such as Desks and Computers are much heavier than many imagine. Some extra hands on larger bodies should help to minimise any difficulties. Think about any equipment than may help. For instance a trolley, a sack truck and even simply sliding feet’ can be used to minimise what has to be picked up and moved. Consider the risks to everyone’s feet and at the very least ensure that no-one has open-toed sandals on the move day! Whilst Manual Handling in the Office may be unusual’, that does not mean that we can ignore the risks that it poses when we have activities such as this to carry out. Remember, that Manual Handling injuries in the Office can range from grazes to knuckles through bashed shins, to serious fractures and even permanent injuries to the back. All of it can be avoided, so plan to minimise the risk. About the Author: Health & Safety Nationwide provides Health and Safety Consultancy for most UK businesses. Reviews and Audits or current Policy, Risk Assessments along with completion of DSE Assessments, Fire Risk Assessment, General Risk Assessment and Manual Handling concerns. 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