RR500 - Manual handling incidents database A compilation and analysis of offshore industry reports

Information from offshore manual handling incident reports have been analysed to establish the underlying factors and trends as well as the more obvious 'end point' causes. The objective was to identify case study material aimed at preventing manual handling injuries.

Forty case studies are presented that show the root causes of manual handling incidents offshore. Identifying the root cause provides the basis for finding solutions that will minimise the likelihood of the incident happening again. Analysis of a total sample of 126 recent manual handling incidents from the offshore industry indicated a variety of root causes, the majority existing at a system level (that is, at a management and planning level). The most commonly found root causes were poor workplace design, poor equipment design and the use of inappropriate equipment. Inadequate risk assessment was found to be a root cause in 5% of incidents, indicating not so much that risk assessments are generally done to an acceptable level, but that a sub-standard risk assessment was not a fundamental source of risk in many incidents. The inadequate risk assessment represents an opportunity missed to identify significant risks.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-20