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Manual handling training: an investigation of current practice

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conference contribution
posted on 23.05.2011, 14:57 by Hilary McDermottHilary McDermott, Cheryl Haslam, Stacy ClemesStacy Clemes, Kate Shaw, Claire Williams, Roger Haslam
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In industrialised countries, about one third of all health-related absences from work are due to MSDs. In the UK, the 1992 Manual Handling Operations Regulations (UK) set out a hierarchy of measures aimed at reducing the risks presented by manual handling; nevertheless concerns have been raised regarding the suitability of manual handling training and it’s effectiveness in reducing MSDs among employees. The study outlined here investigated current practice in relation to manual handling training within the UK and aimed to establish whether such training was considered by organisations to be effective. One hundred and fifty telephone interviews were conducted in total comprising 120 interviews with representatives from UK organisations and 30 interviews with representatives from UK training consultancies. The findings suggest that manual handling training is considered to be more effective if it is tailored to meet specific task and industry needs. The results from this study have informed new guidelines for effective manual handling training. It is hoped that these guidelines will be useful for other nations.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


McDERMOTT, H.J. ... et al, 2009. Manual handling training: an investigation of current practice. 17th World Congress on Ergonomics, IEA 2009, Beijing, China, 9th-14th August.




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