We have recently been contacted regarding what the law says about manual activity and back care at work, as employees look to purchase Heavy Task Back Supports and those returning to the office look to personalise their work station using seated wedges and on seat back supports. Here’s a reminder of the law for empolyers and employees seeking guidance:

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
require you to assess the risks to the health and safety of your workers.
Where this identifies hazardous manual handling of loads, you
should also comply with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations
(the Manual Handling Regulations)

The Manual Handling Regulations set out a clear hierarchy of
measures you must follow to prevent and manage the risks from
hazardous manual handling:
■ avoid hazardous manual handling operations, ‘so far as
reasonably practicable’;*
■ assess the risk of injury to workers from any hazardous
manual handling that can’t be avoided;
■ reduce the risk of injury to workers from hazardous manual
handling to as low as reasonably practicable.

Workers have duties too. They should:
■ follow systems of work in place for their health and safety;
■ use properly any equipment provided for their health and safety;
■ cooperate with you on health and safety matters;
■ inform you if things change or they identify hazardous
handling activities;
■ take care to make sure their activities do not put others at
Consult and involve your workforce. Your workers and their
representatives know first-hand what the risks in the workplace are
and can often suggest practical solutions to control them.

Here’s a quick link to the Health and Safety Executive Manual Handling at work quidelines published in 2016:

Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

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