The injury rate in the food and drink manufacturing sector is double the manufacturing sector average and the HSE estimate that 25% of these injuries are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). However, despite these figures, HSE’s enforcement relating to MSDs remains low.
There have only been six successful prosecutions under the Manual Handling Operation Regulations (MHOR) in the last 10 years and the average fine was £4,500.
The MHOR set out a clear hierarchy of control, with avoidance being at the top. If manual handling can’t be avoided altogether a risk assessment must identify the appropriate control measures needed to reduce the risk as much as possible. These measures include engineering solutions, reducing the weight and frequency of the activity, introducing safe systems of work and providing information, instruction and training to staff as a last resort. For more information see the here.