If your business uses handling equipment, you need to ensure it is operated safely. As an employer you are bound by certain legislation in order to keep your workers safe. What regulations do you need to abide by and how can you make sure equipment is operated safely?
It is important for any equipment used to do Material Handlings correctly and safely For handling hazardous materials. It is your responsibility to make sure the equipment is fit to be used, workers are adequately trained and you abide by the relevant regulations.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, an estimated 1.2 million working days were lost in this year/12 because of handling injuries. This is the most frequently reported type of injury, has the highest number of cases of absences over three days and is the fourth most common cause of major injuries. Therefore, it is vital that equipment is operated safely.
What Does The Law Say?
There are certain legislations relating to the use of handling equipment,including those from Trucks and Trolleys Direct. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 apply to anything that is used to lift products. This includes cranes, forklifts, lifts and hoists. You need to ensure the equipment is strong enough for the required usage and that the safe working loads are clearly indicated. The equipment should only be operated by fully trained and competent employees and must be checked and serviced regularly.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 state that the correct equipment should be used for each activity. You also need to check that:
– It is safe to be used
– It is maintained and inspected regularly
– The appropriate records are kept
This piece of legislation also covers the protective measures and warnings that must be implemented, as well as ensuring operators are fully trained in the specific equipment.
Both employees and employers are also covered by the Materials Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (amended 2002). This applies to any activity where items are lifted, lowered, pushed, pulled or carried, whether by hand or using equipment.
How To Ensure Safe Operation?
In order to effectively manage the risks within your workplace, it is important to carry out risk assessments on a regular basis. These will allow you to:
– See any potential hazards and the problems they may cause
– Plan preventative measures
– Evaluate the risks
Training is one of the most crucial elements when it comes to the safe use of handling equipment. Before new employees are allowed to operate equipment they should be trained in each specific area and this should be reviewed and updated frequently. This will teach them how to use it safely, what to check before each use and what protective equipment and high visibility clothing to wear. Effective training will also reduce your costs by limiting the amount of damage and injuries caused.
Handling equipment is an extremely useful part of operations within a range of industries. However, it is important safety isn’t an afterthought and it is constantly at the forefront of your minds.
Michael Green writes regularly on workplace health and safety for a range of industrial and manufacturing websites and blogs. He keeps up to date with new developments within material handlings equipment, including those available from Trucks and Trolleys Direct.