The question on the lips of many who are tasked with looking after employee health and safety is ‘How many workplace injuries are caused by Manual Handling?‘.
For GB, in the 2020/21 business year, there were approximately 480,000 (yes, ~0.5 Million!) work-related musculoskeletal (MSK) disorder cases. 81% of these were related to the upper limbs, neck or back.
How many Workplace Injuries are caused by Manual Handling?
For 2020/21, there were 152,000 new cases of work-related musculo-skeletal disorders.
Although we can’t say exactly how many injuries were solely caused by manual handling, we know that 39% of MSK disorders were related to the back, the majority of which will have been caused by manual handling activities.
Of the total new injuries recorded, a 3-year average of 21% are directly attributable to being injured whilst ‘lifting, carrying or moving’ i.e. manual handling, according to the GB Labour Force Survey.
The HSE (GB) estimates that around 9 Million working days were lost due to these musculo-skeletal (MSK) disorders.
Other key causes of injury include slips, trips and fall on the same level, being struck by a moving object and contact with machinery.
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Workplace injuries caused by Manual Handling Ireland?
In Ireland, Manual handling injuries are the most common workplace injury (see image), with over 30% physical injuries relating to the back, arm or shoulders.
As you can see in the figure, manual handling represents the most common cause of non-fatal workplace injury from 2015-2019.
Let’s look at some more detail into the extent of this problem for Irish industry…
The most injured body part for workers in 2019 was the back, involved in 20% of non-fatal injuries reported. This is in keeping with recent years, with back injuries comprising 22% of all non-fatal injuries reported between 2015 and 2019.
Non-fatal back injuries were caused primarily by manual handling accidents.
If we take a close look at the main causes of injury in industrial (production, manufacturing etc.) environments.
It is explicitly clear that workplace manual handling is easily the largest contributor.
These startling statistics illustrate why manual handling training is important for businesses across different sectors and regions.
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