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Health and Safety Guidelines

Health and Safety Guidelines

by Penny Hydraulics

Legally, what weight is one man allowed to lift without assistance?

There are no legal maximum weight limits for lifting at work. There are, however, guidelines which set out guidance on safe weights for lifting and lowering. The guidelines identify that weights need to be adjusted depending on how they are being lifted, how close to the body they are held, and how high or how low the weights are to be lifted. For example, the guidelines indicate that men should be able to safely carry a load of 25kg if held close to the body at around waist height. However, weights at arm's length above shoulder height are reduced to 5kg. The guideline weights for women are reduced with the maximum suggested weight being 16kg at waist height.

What are the key points about manual handling that I need to be aware of as an employer?

Consider the risks from manual handling to the health and safety of your employees - this guidance will help you to do this. If there are risks, the Regulations apply. Consult and involve the workforce. Your employees and their representatives know first-hand what the risks in the workplace are. They can probably offer practical solutions to controlling them. The regulations require employers to:

  1. Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable
  2. Assess the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling that can't be avoided; and
  3. Reduce the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable.

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