Cult science-fiction The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy states you should,

‘’Never forget your towel’’!

With manual handling, never forget your TILE. Like the infinitely useful towel, TILE is the most useful acronym to always consider before any manual handling task is undertaken.

Employers are required to provide employees with information, instruction and training under health and safety legislation. It’s common with manual handling for employers to simply provide employees with generic manual handling training.

But…is this effective?

Off The Shelf Manual Handling Training

An article by the Health and Safety Executive, urges employers to think again about off the shelf training. Each workplace will be different in the manual handling tasks it undertakes, from the items handled, layout of the workspace and environmental conditions.

Here’s the article:

Generic manual handling training can be a basis to develop knowledge and understanding, but it is likely to be more important to focus on training employees on the hazards and risks with individuals assessing how they would undertake manual handling tasks involved in their role and the control measures to be followed.

With manual handling you should never forget your TILE (please follow this link to download The Sky Blue Safety TILE Manual Handling Guidance document) when assessing a manual handling task.

This should form part of any manual handling training:

Elements to consider are:

  • Task
  • Individual
  • Load
  • Environment 

Manual Handling For Small Businesses

If you’re a small business a basic manual handling training course could be a good starting point.

After the manual handling training follow-up internally as a group where you review manual handling tasks, identifying hazards and possible risks.

Complete your manual handling review by checking you have suitable controls in place. Each individual is different in height, strength and physical capability, a control measure that a specific person to undertake the task because they are physically capable isn’t practical, what would happen if they were absent from work; how would your business manage?

You’re also required to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against due to their gender as this would be a breach of the Equality Act.

Manual Handling For Larger Businesses

For a larger employer it’s more practicable for a bespoke manual handling course to be created specifically for training employees on tasks involved in their role.

A Tool Box Talk is an alternative and can be as part of team meeting. Carry out a Tool Box Talk to focus on specific manual handling tasks in the workplace as a group. Review the hazards, possible risks and identify controls using the TILE guide. (please follow this link to download The Sky Blue Safety TILE Manual Handling Guidance document)

Repetitive Tasks

These tasks should also be considered when reviewing manual handling activities,

Useful Resource

For help with reviewing repetitive tasks see the Health and Safety Executive Art Tool

For any advice or support in with manual handling or repetitive tasks in your workplace please contact  Sky Blue Safety Ltd  Call: 01933 812234