Which jobs and workers to assess with the V-MAC
Which jobs should you assess with the V-MAC?
Use the V-MAC alongside the MAC when ALL of the following apply:
- The job involves repetitive manual lifting and/or carrying.
- The weights handled vary significantly – when there is at least a 2 kg difference between the lightest and the heaviest loads.
- The job is carried out regularly – at least once a week.
- The handling lasts for more than four hours.
Don’t use the V-MAC when:
- The job involves team handling. You should use the team handling chart in the MAC or follow the HSE guidance on the Manual Handling Operations Regulations to carry out a full manual handling risk assessment.
- All the weights handled are less than 2.5 kg. If all the weights are this light, the V-MAC won’t tell you anything useful. You might find using the ART helpful.
- The job isn’t done regularly. Assessing a job that someone does for only a day or so probably isn’t proportionate to the risk, unless you have reason to think that it is very demanding.
- The shift lasts longer than 12 hours. You should follow the HSE guidance on the Manual Handling Operations Regulations to carry out a full manual handling risk assessment instead.
Here are some pointers to help you decide when to use the V-MAC or the MAC or the ART tool:
- All items weigh less than 2.5 kg - Use ART
- The task is mostly upper-limb - Use ART
- All items weigh about the same – Use MAC
- The heaviest item is at least 2 kg heavier than the lightest - Use V-MAC + MAC
You may want to assess several different jobs with the V-MAC. If you find very big differences in what different workers handle (for example, in different zones in a warehouse) then you should assess them as separate jobs.
How many workers do you need to look at for each job you assess?
What workers do will often vary from day to day and between individuals, so data from one person on one day won’t capture this. We suggest that you look at data from three people to capture some of these differences. You shouldn’t need to assess all the workers individually, unless only one or two do the job.
For each distinct job:
- Pick three full-time employees.
- Make sure they do the job regularly.