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HSE warns employers against investing in off-the-shelf manual handling training
Published:  23 March, 2018

Off-the-shelf manual handling training should become a thing of the past, according to new advice released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

New musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) advice has been issued by HSE to help employers to decide what type of help they need to tackle the MSD risks in their workplace. The resource includes information on workplace design, risk assessments, helpful links and more.

The web-based advice has been developed with the input and involvement of businesses, trade unions, trade bodies, training providers, professional bodies and safety professionals and consultants.

Launching the new resource at its inaugural MSD Summit on Wednesday, HSE Health and Work Portfolio Manager Geoff Cox said: “Our research shows that simplistic training involving bending your knees to lift a cardboard box is just a waste of time and money, it just doesn’t make any difference.

“The overall aim is to avoid and reduce manual handling, and that’s where employers should start if their workforce faces manual handling risks. Don’t start with training, start with re-organising and redesigning your working practices.

“If you do need staff training, and there are many residual risks where this is the case, then this needs to be customised and professionally delivered. Any such training should be based on observations of current working practices, and should be informed by the views and experience of the workforce.”

The resource can be viewed on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/msd/external-help.htm.