A question I am often asked is
“How Much Is A Man Allowed To Lift?”
There is guidance of how much should not be damaging to an average workman, but there is no set in stone limit. (or should that be set in lightweight stone alternative?!)
The weight lifted is also dependent on the task.
If, for example, a load of 25 kilograms is being lifted off a worktop at waist height in front of the man lifting, this is within the guidelines and there is a low risk of injury being sustained.
However, if the 25 kilogram load is lifted from anywhere else, say at the feet, off a high shelf or simply where the man has to lean forward to reach the load, then this exceeds guidelines and the risk level increases.
Here’s the illustration from the Approved Code of Practice for Manual Handling. It shows the recommended maximum weights which lead to a low risk of injury.
And Manual Handling is much more than just lifting and putting down. There’s the environment in which the employee works to consider, the ground they are walking on, are they twisting, how often are they lifting.
No wonder it’s a specific assessment in itself!
And after all this, it all comes down to personal capability. If an employee has a history of a bad back or if they are not particularly strong, it is not unreasonable to expect them to lift less.
The only way to comply with this legal requirement is to undertake a specific assessment on the person undertaking the work and the specific task. Every employee undertaking any form of manual handling also needs to have manual handling training.
So, do you need a Manual Handling Assessment Form?
Click on the file transfer picture below to download a blank form and guidance on how to use it.