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Lifting operations assessment

Use this guide to help you assess a lifting operation. To carry out the assessment of a lifting operation, the following factors need to be considered:

Please read through the following assessment guide carefully. It gives advice on how to score the different factors involved in a lifting operation. After reading through the guide click the link at the bottom of the page to view the videos.

A - Load weight

Note the weight of the load and the repetition rate of the lifting operation. Read off risk banding on the load/frequency graph and enter the colour band and numerical score on the score sheet. If the colour band is purple the task should be examined very closely, such operations may represent a serious risk of injury and should come under close scrutiny, particularly when the entire weight of the load is lifted by one person. Note: High frequency handling operations of light weights will fall within the GREEN zone, but may be associated with upper limb problems. Please refer to Upper limb disorders in the workplace (HSG60, available from HSE Books) for advice on further assessment.

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 4

redScore= 6

purpleScore=10

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B - Hand Distance from lower back

Observe the task and examine the position of the load and the operative's hands as the lift progresses in relation to the dimensions marked on the illustrations. Use the following to guide your assessment:

Close- upper arms aligned vertically and upright trunk

 

 

 


Close- upper arms aligned vertically and upright trunk

Moderate - Upper arms angled away from body









Moderate - Upper arms angled away from body

Moderate - Trunk bent forward


Moderate - Trunk bent forward

Far - upper arms angled away from body and trunk bent forward
Far - upper arms angled away from body and trunk bent forward

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 3

redScore= 6

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C - Vertical Lift Region

Observe the position of the load at the start of the lift and as the lift progresses. Use the following illustrations as a guide:

Lift from above knee and/or below elbow height
Lift from above knee and/or below elbow height

Lift from below knee and/or above elbow height
Lift from below knee and/or above elbow height

Lift from floor level or below
Lift from floor level or below

Lift at head height or above
Lift at head height or above

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 1

redScore=3

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D - Trunk twisting and sideways bending

Observe the operative's trunk as the load is lifted. If the trunk twists in relation to the hips and thighs OR the operative leans to one side as the load is lifted, the colour band is amber and the numerical score is 1. If the trunk both twists and bends to the side as the load is lifted the colour band is red and the numerical score is 2.

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 1

redScore= 2

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E - Postural constraint

If the movements of the operative are unhindered, the colour band is green and the numerical score is 0. If the operatives adopt restricted postures during the lift because of the space available (eg narrow gap between pallet load and hopper) or the workstation design (eg an excessively high monorail conveyor), the colour band is amber and the numerical score is 1. If the posture is severely restricted, the colour band is red and the numerical score is 3 (eg work in confined areas such as baggage holds).

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 1

redScore= 3

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F - Grip on Load

Containers with well designed handles or handholds, fit for purpose.

Loose parts enabling comfortable grip

Containers with poorer handles or handholds

Fingers to be clamped at 90 degrees under the container

Containers of poor design. Loose parts, irregular objects, bulky or difficult to handle

Non-rigid sacks or animate objects (animals and people)

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 1

redScore= 2

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G - Floor surface

Dry and clean floor in good condition

Dry floor but poorer condition, worn or uneven

Contaminated/wet or steep sloping floor or unstable footing

greenScore=0

amberScore= 1

redScore= 2

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H - Other Environmental factors

Observe the work environment and score if the lifting operation takes place: in extremes of temperature: with strong air movements: or in extreme lighting conditions (dark, bright or poor contrast). If the task involves more than one of the risk factors (ie. extreme temperatures and strong air movements) total the scores on the score sheet.

greenNo factors = 0

amberOne factor = 1

redTwo factors or more = 2

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Other individual risk factors

Consider individual risk factors such as age and psychosocial risk factors like job control or opportunities for social interaction etc.

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Updated 2013-10-02