The TITOLO V of D. Lgs 626/94 regulates Manual Handling of Loads.
When manual handling operations are to be undertaken, it is wise to respect some simple guidelines in order to perform the task safely.
First, examine the load characteristics.
· Whenever load weight exceeds the prescribed limits (20 kg for women and 30 kg for men)
it is recommended that a two-person team undertakes the task (lifting and transport).
In this case, it is very important to ensure that movements are coordinated to avoid
that one of the two operatives is subjected to an extra excessive effort, e.g., due to asymmetry of the carried load.
· If the load is difficult to grasp because of sharp edges or an excessive cold
or hot surface temperature, making it difficult to handle, auxiliary tools (pliers, clamps, belts, etc.) and suitable gloves should be used.
“Manual handling of loads”means any transporting or supporting of a load, by one or more workers, including lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving a load.
Lifting and handling loads inappropriately can cause excessive loading of musculoskeletal structures, namely the spine, involving a risk of back injuries.
The vertebral column is composed of a series of vertebrae separated by intervertebral disks whose main function is to absorb shocks. As they are also designed to sustain heavy loads, intervertebral disks can wear out in the execution of day-to-day, working and sport activities.
Hence it is necessary to limit some working operations to protect intervertebral disks according to ergonomic practical guidance given in the following pages:
· Compressive load that can be caused by lifting operations (excessive loads or inadequate posture);
· Prolonged adoption of a wrong position (e.g., excessively flexing the back).
Adopt correct safety measures!
During manual handling operations, the straighter the back is, the less the stress is put on the intervertebral disks. A correct position is fundamental in lifting and carrying operations.
Even the lifting of light loads can cause problems if this is incorrectly performed.
Before lifting the load, adopt a stable body position keeping the feet at a distance equal to 20-30 cm to maintain balance;
During lifting operations, keep the back straight while flexing knees;
Lift the load raising up slowly and pulling hard on the legs.
Do not lift loads with the back bent and straight knees. The greater the flexion of the trunk, the greater the load put on intervertebral disks is,
and therefore the risk of back injuries;
Do not lift loads before having adopted a stable position and pivoting with your feet.
When carrying a load, it is recommended to examine the characteristics of the working environment and carefully identify the travel path, trying to avoid,
as far as possible, obstacles which may present a risk of slipping, stumbling and falling.
When carrying a load, keep it as close as possible to your waist;
When carrying a load, allow the weight to be distributed symmetrically on both arms.
Do not twist your back as you change the load to another position.
Each twisting movement shall be performed by moving the feet and keeping the trunk in a neutral position;
Do not push or pull the load without the help of suitable devices.
Before lifting and putting down heavy loads remember to keep:
· The body straight
· The back straight
· The heavy as much as possible near to body
· Firm the feet position
· The holder safe
· Movements without jars
· Proper shoes