Refers to any physical action/s that may, if not properly managed, cause injury. Most obvious forms of manual handling are lifting and moving objects, repetitive actions such as pipetting, and posture.
All staff and students will have to lift objects at some time and there are many repetitive actions in laboratory and office work. It is also important to know how to deal with heavy objects and have strategies in place to prevent repetitive action injury.
Remember, that any pain such as pain in the wrists must be reported to your supervisor and the School Health and Safety Officer.
Some examples of manual handing you might encounter within the School are:
- sitting at a microscope
- working at a laboratory workbench
- using a computer
- getting samples in and out of incubators/freezers
- working at a laminar flow/biosafety cabinet
The University HSW Unit offers a tailored course in manual handling. You can book into the course by following the link University Manual Handling Training Course. We encourage anyone that would like to understand more about manual handling and ergonomics to attend.
There is no maximum weight limit or amount that a person should lift specified by South Australian Health & Safety Legislation. The Code of Practice for Manual Handling however; gives a guideline that 16 - 18kg is considered an increased risk and a risk assessment for the task should be completed.
The School requires that all loads of 16kg and above be moved using mechanical aids and/or more than one person.
A number of trolleys are available throughout the building. Please see Tony Richardson for further information.
There is sometimes a need to move heavy weights such as 20 litre containers of developing fluid or heavy boxes of copy paper. Care is always needed and always get assistance to move this type of object.
If you are going to be handling animals of any kind, you will need to read the Safe Operating Procedure for Animal Handling. Your supervisor will also need to instruct you in the safe handling of animals and you will need to attend the University's course in Animal Handling. Please speak with the School HSO for further information.
You may also require a vaccination against various diseases such as Q Fever or Tetanus. Speak to your supervisor to discuss your requirements. Information on vaccinations can be found on the School's Website, follow the link: Vaccinations.
Feedback on the MBS HSW Web or its contents may be e-emailed to the MBS HSO.