HSE targets moving and handling in new safety campaign

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is launching an inspection campaign on construction sites focusing on moving and handling materials.

Starting on Monday 4, the inspections will run throughout September and October.

The initiative aims to warn construction workers of the long-term health impact of moving and handling heavy or bulky objects.

Around 42,000 construction workers suffer musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), according to the safety watchdog. This amounts to 53% of all health conditions in the construction sector.

The long-term impacts of MSDs include leaving people struggling to stand, walk, or sit down. These conditions can cause severe aches and pains that have a serious impact on quality of life.

Examples of good and poor practice

Inspections carried out by HSE in 2022 found widespread methods that can protect workers. These include the use of mechanical equipment to handle large glazing panes, using small inexpensive air bags to help to position heavy doors during installation, and the use of all-terrain pallet trucks to move blocks and brick-lifters to carry bricks around site.

However, inspectors also found many examples of poor practice, some of which resulted in enforcement action. In one case, a worker was lifting an 80kg kerb on his own without any assistance from machinery, lifting aids or colleagues. In another instance, a 110kg floor saw had to be moved into and out of a work van by two operatives at a street works site.

The law requires employers to control the risks of ill health of their workers, including MSDs.

The inspections are supported by ‘Work Right Construction. Your health. Your future’, which provides advice and raises awareness of the risks when moving and handling materials on site.

The post HSE targets moving and handling in new safety campaign appeared first on Construction Management.

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