Health and safety in the workplace is more important now than ever before. Although there are no specific rules on how much someone is allowed to lift there are guidelines to help employers or human resource teams.
The guidelines suggest that the maximum weight men should lift at work is 25kg. This relates to loads held close to the body at around waist height. The recommended maximum weight is reduced to 5kg for loads being held at arms length or above shoulder height.
Maximum weight guidelines recommend lower weights for women. The suggested maximum weight for women is 16kg for loads held at waist height.
Lifting a weight below the maximum limit does not always make the load ‘safe’
The weight of the load is not the only factor to be taken into account. There are a number of factors to take into account when assessing whether a load is ‘safe’ for an employee to lift at work.
The guidelines assume that the manual handling and lifting is taking place in reasonable working conditions. It is also assumed that the load is easy to hold and easily grasped with both hands. The guidance is also based on the assumption that the weight is being lifted by a reasonably fit, well-trained individual.
The weight of a load may need to be reduced below the maximum guideline weights for various factors
These factors include:
– Any lifting which involves twisting or bending
– If the manual handling is being carried out in a confined space
– If the lifting activity is being repeated
There are therefore a number of factors to assess when considering whether the load a person lifts at work is ‘safe’.
Employers should carry out a manual handling risk assessment to assess any manual handling or lifting that an employee is required to do as part of their work.
At Applied Trucks we offer a range of custom trucks and trolleys to help to manoeuvring large and heavy objects protecting staff and being more efficient. These could be in an office (ideal for for archiving, moving heavy stationary orders or IT equipment), industrial environments, marine or any other situation requiring heavy lifting or manoeuvring.