Manual handling of loads

Some of sector of activities can be more exposed to manual handling of loads than others, as BTP sector or the food industry for example. Nevertheless, it is a common activity for many workers which is not without risks and which has to be executed in good conditions in order to avoid any damage regarding health and security.

What could be the risks related to an inappropriate manual handling of loads ?

Wearing loads in bad conditions (for example : do not respect recommended gestures) can be hazardous. Beyond tiredness and muscular ache which can ensue from, workers can develop real musculoskeletal trouble which can lead to sick leave.

What does the law say ?

In Luxembourg, the Grand Duchy’s regulation from the 04th November 1994 related to minimal dictate security and health regarding manual handling of loads predicts in particular in the article 3 that :

• « 1.
L’employeur prend les mesures d’organisation appropriées (…) en vue d’éviter la nécessité d’une manutention manuelle de charges par les travailleurs. »
• « 2. Lorsque la nécessité d’une manutention manuelle de charges par les travailleurs ne peut être évitée, l’employeur prend les mesures d’organisation appropriées, (…) en vue de réduire le risque encouru lors de la manutention manuelle de ces charges (…).

Which measures should be taken in order to avoid the manual holding of loads or to reduce the risks when they cannot be avoided ?

The employer has to begin by evaluate the risks. In order to avoid resorting to manual holding of loads, the employer can opt for mechanical equipment (for example : engines to lift and move the loads).

In case if it is not possible to avoid the handling or to substitute by a mechanical way, the employer has to organize the work station in order that the handling is the safer and healthier as possible (for example : suggesting nonskid shoes with soles to prevent from risk of falling ; training workers on gestures to adopt for supporting safely ; …).

SSTL, external prevention service can help the designated workers and the employers to evaluate the risks in your company, don’t hesitate to contact our experts for more information.