Why can manual handling be a problem in respect to accidents?
According to recent statistics published by the HSE, manual handling is a common cause of workplace accidents, accounting for over one third of workplace related injuries. The lifting of heavy loads can be a part of almost any occupation and oil rig workers in particular are exposed to the risks of carrying heavy equipment.
Oil workers work in a high pressure environment and are expected to adhere to strict deadlines and extraction targets. However, it may be problematic to obtain the necessary equipment in such a remote location, or to replace and repair any lifting equipment which may malfunction on the rig. This leads to a greater risk of injury.
What sorts of injuries can manual handling cause?
Manual handling can cause a number of nasty industrial injuries such as musculoskeletal disorders. For further information on musculoskeletal disorders, you can read the information contained on the HSE’s website.
What can I do to prevent such an injury?
It is almost impossible to obtain a completely safe work environment for manual handling. There are a number of measures that you, as an employee, can take in order to reduce the chances of an accident at work through manual handling. You can reduce the chances of this happening by maintaining correct posture when lifting; using the correct equipment supplied and always assess the risks that cannot be avoided when carrying out manual handling in order to reduce the potential of a work-related accident. Ask yourself if manual handling is entirely necessary, can the work be carried out without moving the object in question?
Always remember that your employer is under obligation to provide you with adequate safety equipment for lifting heavy loads. Ensuring proper maintenance of all lifting equipment can reduce the chances of an accident.
For more information on maintaining correct posture, guidelines on weight lifting limits and more advice on good handling techniques, information is available online.
Remember though, accidents can still happen and if you’ve suffered an injury through manual handling on an oil rig, and it wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Be sure to contact Accident Advice Helpline for more information.
Date Published: November 20, 2013
Author: David Brown