Manual Handling and Safety

By | March 22, 2021

What is the Safety requirement during material handling?

Safety in Manual Handling and storing materials involve diverse operations such as hoisting tons of steel with a crane; driving a truck loaded with concrete blocks; carrying bags or materials manually; and stacking palletized bricks or other materials such as drums, barrels, kegs, and lumber.

The efficient handling and storing of materials are vital to industry. In addition to raw materials, these operations provide a continuous flow of parts and assemblies through the workplace and ensure that materials are available when needed. Unfortunately, the improper handling and storing of materials often result in costly injuries.

Manual Handling

Rules 62 of the Gujrat Factories Rules prescribe the following maximum limits:

Person Permissible Max. Weight (Kg)
Adult male 55
Adult female 30
Adolescent male 30
Adolescent female 20
Male child 16
  Female child 13
Two adult workers working together for carrying
Load by handcart 500


It is also clarified that no adult male, adult woman, adolescent or child shall engage, in conjunction with others in lifting, carrying or moving by hand or on head, any material, articles, tool or appliance if the weight thereof exceeds the lowest weight fixed by the above table for any of the persons engaged multiplied by the number of the persons engaged.

Thus two male children cannot be engaged to lift more than 162=32kg five adolescent females cannot to engaged to lift more than 20×5=100kg and so on. Actually this should be still less considering ‘co-ordination loss

What are the Methods of Lifting and Handling of Material?

Avoidance of Excessive Muscular Efforts:

Manual Handling

Careless or wrong manual load handling causes injury to the column and adjacent muscles. particularly the lumber region may also cause pulse rate rise, blood pressure rise, blood pressure rise. brain hemorrhage, abdominal hernia and posies of abdomen organs.

When excessive loads are regularly carried from an early age, the constant stress and strain on muscles, ligaments: Joints and bones can cause deformities such as scoliosis or hypnosis in the vertebrae damage to the arch of the foot and inflammatory and painful conditions of the muscles and bursar.

Constant pressure on the skin muscles or nerves leads callosities, neurotic pains or paralysis, hypertrophy, head enlargement, hardening of the blood vessels and hypertension. Women are much affected than men and in children it may affect bodily (skeletal) growth. Therefore avoidance of accessible muscular efforts is utmost necessary.

Age and sex affects the efficiency. After the age of 30 efficient declines. Women have weaker muscle power than men and shorter in height. Hence their reach is less and the maximum physical capacity of a woman is about 2/3 of a man’s.

Common unsafe working habits in Manual Handling are:

  • Unsafe gripping
  • ¬†Lifting improperly
  • Lifting excessive load
  • Failure to wear.

Proper Methods of Lifting are:

  • The feet should be placed close to the load and properly spaced for body balance.
  • Back straight and as nearly vertical as possible. Elbows as straight as possible. Knees bent until the hands reach the proper place for gripping the load.
  • Grasp the load firmly. Lift should be completed by straightening the knees, keeping the load close to the body.
  • While putting down the load, above procedure should be reversed.

Kinetic Method of Lifting employs six factors in Manual Handling:

  • One foot ahead of the other in the direction of the movement.
  • Bend knees.
  • Keep back straight, not necessarily vertical.
  • Keep the load close to the body.
  • Grasp the load form the palm and not form the root of the finger.
  • Keep the head in correct position.
  • It is also necessary to keep the centre of gravity of the load as near as possible.

Why Training or Operators are used in Material Handling?

  • Proper selection and training of operations-for any lifting equipment’s are the most essential.
  • The operators should be of more than 18 years of age, medically fit with regard to eyes light, hearing, reflexes, and driving requirement and should have stature to operate the equipment safety.
  • They should be fully trained to drive and operate the equipment with better judgements of distance, heights, clearance and turning.
  • Knowledge of working of the equipment, routine checks and maintenance methods, signal code, colour code and hazards of materials and their handling should also be given:
  • Any safe equipment may be unsafe in untrained hands.
  • Therefore good training of all operators for mechanical handling is more important to prevent accidents due to material handling.

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