Manual Handling Badge

Manual handling of loads (MHL), manual material handling (MMH) involves the use of the human body to lift, lower, fill, empty, or carry loads.
The load can be animate (a person or animal) or inanimate (an object). Most manufacturing or distribution systems require some manual handling tasks. Though decreasing lately, the rate of workers in the EU-25 that report carrying or moving heavy loads, is still high (34.5%), reaching 38.0% in the EU-10. When performed incorrectly or excessively, these tasks may expose workers to physical risk factors, fatigue, and injury.[2] A variety of MMH techniques and tools exist to alleviate these potential problems.
In the UK all organizations have a duty to protect employees from injury from manual handling activities and this is outlined in The Manual Handling Operations (MHO) Regulations 1992. Any job that involves heavy labor or manual material handling may include a high risk for injury on the job. Manual material handling entails lifting, but also usually includes climbing, pushing, pulling, and pivoting, all of which pose the risk of injury to the back.[3] MMH work contributes to a large percentage of a 1.1 million cases of musculoskeletal disorders reported annually in the United States. Musculoskeletal disorders often involve strains and sprains to the lower back, shoulders, and upper limbs. Potentially injurious tasks may involve bending and twisting, repetitive motions, carrying or lifting heavy loads, and maintaining fixed positions for a long time. MMH under these conditions can lead to damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.[1]