11th October 2016
All employers are required to take steps to protect the health and safety of their staff whilst at work. Making sure there are safe systems in place to move items around the workplace in order to reduce the chance of things being dropped and employees suffering strains or breaks is an important part of any health and safety policy. If a workplace is spread over more than one floor then the installation of mechanised means to assist with moving goods may prove invaluable.
The Manual Handling Regulations give advice on preventing injury through poor handling practice and remind employees and employers that this can cause musculoskeletal disorders, which account for one-third of all injuries suffered at work. A risk assessment of all lifting activities should demonstrate where there is a need for automation such as goods lifts. Staff should be consulted as they may be aware of particular problems and risks and may also be able to offer solutions. If goods lifts are installed, full training in their use is needed and a proper maintenance and inspection system should be put in place. Where chemicals or hot products are being moved, there may be extra risks to be aware of.
Items which are large and heavy should not be carried up or down stairs. They may be moved in a passenger lift, but in a busy workplace goods lifts may be more appropriate to keep people and goods separate. Heavy items such as beer barrels may need to be moved via a lift. Lifts for trolleys and sack barrows are available – the item that needs to be moved is wheeled onto the lift and then sent to the appropriate destination.
In a restaurant in which food is prepared on a different floor from where it is served, carrying hot meals up or down stairs can be hazardous. The need for this can be prevented by the installation of a dumb waiter. There are dumb waiters available which will serve up to twelve floors and are therefore useful in hotels.
An assessment of the lifting and moving requirements of a business is needed to establish if any goods lifts are needed to reduce the risk of employee injury. The assessment should include the maximum weight which will be moved. We can help you decide the best option to ensure the most appropriate lifts are installed to meet your needs.