Manual handling in the printing industry

What you need to know

Manual handling activities such as lifting and carrying, pushing and pulling cause most injuries in the printing industry. The law requires employers to:

  • Avoid manual handling where possible
  • Assess the risks from manual handling
  • Reduce the risk
  • Provide training

What you need to do

Risk assessment

Use the MAC tool (manual handling assessment chart) to identify high risk manual handling activities

Reduce the risk

Provide mechanical handling aids

Examples of mechanical aids for printing

  • Scissor lifts and elevating tables at folders and guillotines
  • Pile turners and joggers to reduce hand turning or knocking up
  • Free running or mechanical conveyors
  • Swing arm hoists and slings at reelstands
  • Reel conveyor trolleys
  • Cylinder and roller trolleys
  • Reel shaft trolley
  • Sack trucks

Reduce load size/weight

  • Reorganise/redesign tasks to reduce effort
  • Improve layout/alter workstation height
  • Check adequate space and reasonable temperature

Handling newspaper and magazine bundles gives specific advice on bundles for those involved in the production, distribution and sale of newspapers and magazines.

Provide training to employees on the following

  • How manual handling causes injury
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  • How to identify unsafe practices
  • Appropriate systems of work for handling
  • Correct use of aids
  • Appropriate handling techniques.

Find out more

The following HSE guidance is available to help employers identify hazardous operations and start their risk assessment.

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Updated: 2021-11-22