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Pharmaceuticals - Manual handling

This includes injuries from lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying and putting down an object and in pharmaceuticals is currently responsible for 66% of RIDDOR'S from the pharmaceutical industry.

Safe manual handling is not simply determined by the weight being handled. An "ergonomic" approach to assessing the safety of the handling operation is advocated, in which the contributory factors include:

Ideally avoid all heavy and awkward manual handling. Providing manual handling training is essential, but will not eliminate potential risks alone.

There are additional ways in which to reduce the risk:

  1. Change the load
  2. Change the work area to make handling safer
  3. Provide manual handling aids to handle the load where applicable
Worker stretching up to reach box

The box is stored above shoulder height and requires the operator to overstretch to retrieve it, with the possibility of the box falling and injuring the worker, or the worker overstretching.

Worker manuvering large drum on to scale

This operator must roll this heavy drum onto the weigh scales which are raised. This requires an overall awkward posture as well as being above the recommended lifting guidelines.

How can you change the load?

How can you change the work area?

Invest in handling aids

It is also important to encourage employees to:

Case studies

Updated 2021-02-24