This page offers general risk reduction measures associated with team handling
| Tool risk factor
|| Possible remedial action
Eliminate the manual handling in the task
Tackle manual handling as a whole:
Reduce the repeated handling of the same load throughout a process.
Use mechanical handling aids:
Tools, hoists, manipulators, counter balanced lifters, pallet
lifts, tilt lifts, stackers and forklifts.
Examine the workplace layout:
Match workstation heights with trolleys and conveyors. Manoeuvre
loads instead of lifting. Link separate processes in a production
Reduce the load weight:
Redesign packaging, use smaller containers or limit the quantities
of product in containers.
Increase the load weight:
Bring goods in by bulk, loads which cannot be manually handled.
Make postural factors as good as possible or look to improve
Eliminate load carrying using conveyors or trolleys. Examine the
possibility of using team handling for less frequent operations.
hand distance from the lower back
Examine workplace layout:
Ensure loads are positioned conveniently close to the operative
to avoid excessive reaching.
Examine the load characteristics:
Make the load smaller, less intrinsically harmful (e.g. hot and
sharp), position better handholds - to ensure the load is held
and lifted as close to the body as possible.
Remove barriers or constraints making operatives reach:
Open up shelf gaps, angle work surfaces towards the operative,
keep the work area clear of waste materials, encourage operatives
to move their feet rather than rely on their ability to reach.
Reduce the need for operatives to bend when
Raise pallet loads up from the floor, use pallet lifts, tilt lifts
or height adjustable tables and trolleys. Consider workstation,
trolley and equipment height and layout. Adjustability to suit
a range of individuals is preferable.
Reduce the need for operatives to reach over shoulder and head
Self levelling pallet lifts and tables can be used to control
lifting height to below shoulder height for stacking operations,
examine shelf heights. Organise operations such that high and
low level handling is only carried out for infrequent and / or
lighter weight operations.
The aim is to position the load to be lifted between knee
height and elbow height.
twisting and sideways bending
Reduce the need for twisting and sideways bending:
Ensure the majority of loads, tools and work components are positioned
in front of the operative. Position the destination point of a
load far enough away from the operative to increase the likelihood
of operatives moving their feet. Use conveyors or trolleys to
transport loads, use ball bearing conveyors to move loads in different
directions. Instruct operatives to move their feet and maintain
good trunk posture.
Consider the characteristics of the load:
Position the centre of gravity of the load centrally and position
handholds equally to stop the trunk compensating for an unbalanced
Use tools (or mechanical aids) which grip awkward loads and provide
convenient handles for lifting, alter the texture and finish of
the load to improve grip, use gloves with high frictional qualities,
minimise intrinsically harmful characteristics, handles or cut
outs which permit the operative to exert a strong power grip are
preferred, loads with shifting contents or which sag could be
stabilised (put in solid container) to reduce the likelihood of
the operative needing to rapidly alter grip to control the load.
Improve communication and coordination:
Train operatives to use verbal communication to carryout team
handling (e.g. “1, 2, 3 lift”), ensure teams are familiar
with a communication method and know what the team are trying
to accomplish (plan the lift), one operative should take command
of the operation. Try to lift or move the load in a controlled
manner, avoid unexpected movement of the load or operatives, ensure
gangways and work areas are clear of obstruction and footing is
Make other factors as good as possible:
A good posture enabling operatives good vision of the load and
their team members will improve coordination, good and firm grip
on the load reduces the risks of a sudden loss of grip and breakdown
By improving team handling coordination there is less opportunity
for individual members of the team handling a disproportionate
amount of the load and so injury risks associated with a breakdown
in control of the load are reduced.
Consider the work area layout:
Provide open aisles and access ways, ensure space around a workstation
is sufficient to allow unrestricted movement, position operatives
far enough apart so they do not get in each others way, place
pallets or other loads away from walls to allow easy access right
around it, open up shelf gaps, tilt forward work tables, good
house keeping should eliminate build ups of waste materials.
Consider the workstation height and reach requirements:
Make sure hoppers/shelves/reactors/table heights are convenient
for the range of operatives.
Floor surface should be free of
contamination, it should be in good condition and stable:
Remove loose materials from walkways or around the workstation,
ensure aisles and gangways are free of obstruction, maintenance
programs should identify and remedy floor damage.In wet or otherwise
slippery areas: increase the roughness of the floor, provide matting
which allows the contaminant to drain below it, consider moving
to dry systems for maintaining hygiene standards, provision of
suitable footwear. Ensure members of the team do not have to stand
or walk on loose materials during an operation. Please bear in
mind that seasonal temperatures can affect underfoot conditions.