Earlier this month, SHP online published an interactive map from Vero Solutions, which highlighted the regions of the UK with the most work related deaths and injuries. This included research from the Health and Safety Executive, which also showed the most common health conditions which are either caused, or aggravated by work.

These included: 

  • Work-related stress
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Skin Disease
and finally
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders 

While we have discussed musculoskeletal disorders on our blog previously, it is insightful (and highly worrying), to look at the facts and figures associated with these conditions, particularly in relation to manual handling. In fact, the research revealed that manual handling is the main activity in UK workplaces which leads to this disorder, with 9.5 million working days lost as a result. 

Although this only confirms what we already know about the connection between musculoskeletal issues and manual handling, highlighting the strain that this has on both the workplace and on company employees, reveals an even clearer picture of the impact that these practices have on organisations.

While certain professions may only be able to mitigate the risks by reducing the amount of manual handling that they complete, and by using safe lifting techniques, there are certain industries that could eliminate the practice of manual handling almost entirely. In sectors such as logistics, food production and construction, just to name a few, there are a number of technologies and solutions readily available, which greatly reduce the call for manual handling in the workplace.

From heavy-duty lifting equipment, to material lifts and load-moving equipment, there are a huge variety of options available, which reduce the practice of manual handling in the workplace to the very minimum. It is vital to the prosperity of these industries, and to the overall state of workplace health in the UK, that companies seriously consider this investment in the improvement of their lifting and handling procedures. 

Although this will require an initial spend, the figures revealing the impact of workplace health conditions speak for themselves, showing the long-term benefits that could be achieved by putting these systems in place.

For more health and safety insights, follow us on Twitter