Workplace Report February 2023

Health & safety - HSE Monitor

HSE targets moving and handling risks

The HSE health and safety executive has taken enforcement action after it found a worker lifting an 80kg kerb on his own without any assistance from machinery, lifting aids or colleagues, and two operatives moving a 110kg floor saw in and out of a work van.

The safety regulator carried out more than 1,000 inspections as part of a six-week moving and handling materials health campaign in the construction sector, checking how workers were moving heavy, bulky and awkward-to-handle materials.

Inspectors also found examples of good practice including: mechanical equipment to handle large glazing panels; small, inexpensive air bags to help position heavy doors during installation; all-terrain pallet trucks to move blocks; and brick-lifters to carry bricks.

The HSE highlighted its MAC tool, which helps to assess the most common risk factors in lifting, carrying and handling activities, and reminded employers that the law requires them to prevent ill-health among their workers. This includes injuries to muscles, bones, joints and nerves that can develop over time – known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).