Carlinghow Princess Royal School
Manual Handling policy
Adopted from the Local Authorities policy
Reviewed: January 2018
Date of next review: Spring 2019
SENCO Mrs C. Peel Assistant Head/SENCO
tel. no. 01924 326371
Headteacher Mr A Midgley - Interim
Chair of governors Rev G. Newton
Directorate for Children and Young People (DCYP)
Subject: Children’s Safer Manual Handling
Health & Safety Policy Guidance Note
Reviewed August 2015 (Reviewed February 2012) (original May 2007)
Next Review August 2018 unless any significant changes in legislation or guidance
Relevant Current Legislation
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
- Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
- Reporting of injuries, Diseases and dangerous Occurrence Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)
- Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
Other relevant legislation
- Human Rights Act 2000
- Equality Act 2010
- Special Education Needs and Disability (SENDA 2001)
- Children’s Act 1989 (2004)
- Children and Families Act 2014
Who needs to see this document: Directors of Service, Heads of Service and Child Care Setting Managers, Managers and Supervisors, Employees and School Governors (school specific)
- Manual Handling Advisor 07976497952 email@example.com
- Group Safety Advisor for DCYP 01484 226445
This policy covers the moving and handling of children and young people with additional needs, physical disabilities and any other children that may have manual handling needs.
The policy should be interpreted with due regard to other relevant legislation listed and the Directorate for Children and Young People’s health and safety policy.
The Local Authority expects all heads of service and child care settings managers to follow this policy and guidance and to ensure it is adopted and implemented within their areas of responsibility.
Directorate for Children and Young People
DCYP Children’s Safer Manual Handling Policy
- Introduction - 3
- General Policy Statement - 3
- Statement of Intent – 3 to 4
- At a Glance Action - 5
- Definition and Objectives - 5
- Organisation- People and Responsibilities - 6 to 11
- Risk Assessments -12 to 13
- Training – 13 to 14
- Personnel Issues - 14
- Accidents/incidents/Near Misses - 15
- Emergencies - 15
- Handling Aids and Equipment - 15 to 16
- Maintenance of Equipment - 16
- Monitoring, Auditing and Review - 17
- Appendices – 18 to 25
- This policy should be read in conjunction with The Directorate for Children and Young People (DCYP) Health and Safety Policy. Manual Handling comes under the health and safety umbrella but has specific legislation which should also be considered Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR), Lifting Operations Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).
- The DCYP Safer Manual Handling Policy works alongside the aims and objectives of Kirklees Council’s Adult Services Manual Handling Policy
- This policy applies to all Directorate for Children and Young People employees undertaking people handling activities in support services, front line services, schools, other childcare settings and including fostering services. It covers children and young people, users of its service and any other people affected by its activities.
- This policy should also be considered alongside other relevant legislation such as the Human Rights Act 2000, Equality Act 2010, Mental Capacity Act 2005, Children’s Act 1989 (2004) and Children and Families Act 2014.
- Managers are encouraged to further develop local procedures and guidance based on this policy where this would be beneficial and where it would enhance safer manual handling of children and young people
- The Safer Manual Handling Policy is available on Kirklees intranet One Hub and is linked to the DCYP Health and Safety Policy.
General Policy Statement
This policy applies to any setting or situation where the DCYP service has responsibilities including schools, resourced provisions, young people’s centres, children’s centres, residential homes, youth groups, nurseries, off site activities etc. It also applies to all service users, contractors and visitors to the Service’s premises.
DCYP’s core objectives are to provide effective children and young people centred care within a safe working environment to minimise the risk of injury to the children, staff and carers. It aims to do this by working towards the safest possible solutions in manual handling via a risk assessment process.
Moving and handling is an inherent part of providing care to disabled children and young people, but is not risk free, DCYP aim to reduce the risk of injury by moving and handling to the lowest level which is reasonably practicable by:
- Designing and using safe systems of work which seek to avoid hazardous manual handling
- Adopting an ergonomic approach to problem solving moving and handling activities
- Promoting a balance between the needs, wishes and rights of the children and young people and their carers and ensuring a safe working environment for DCYP staff
Statement of Intent
Directorate for Children and Young People
DCYP is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all its employees, children and young people and others who may be affected by its activities.
The Service recognises that continual improvements in manual handling performance are achieved primarily through the identification, assessment and management of risk associated with manual handling. This not only reduces accidents and ill health at work but also contributes to the health and wellbeing of the local communities.
It is the policy of the service to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable:
- The provision of appropriate manual handling information, instruction, training and supervision. Including access to competent advice for manually handling children and young people with a disability.
- The provision and maintenance of appropriate manual handling equipment and safe systems of work.
- The provision and maintenance of a safe working environment in relation to the safer manual handling of children and young people.
- Adequate arrangements for a flexible and a manageable approach to the safe manual handling of children and young people respecting their wishes and balancing the duty of care owed to them, with the statutory requirements to ensure the health and safety of the employees in relation to manual handling.
Whilst accepting the minimum legal standards as set by national legislation namely the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR) and its associated regulations the Service is committed to promoting a positive, safe manual handling culture which aims to produce high standards of care for its employees and the children and young people who access the Service.
The Service recognises that in order for this policy to work it must have the full support and cooperation of all employees in achieving a safer manual handling culture.
The Service also expects and encourages similar support from contractors, partners, volunteers and cooperation from children and young people, service users and visitors who use our services, facilities and premises.
The Service will monitor and review the effectiveness of this policy
Signed: Date: 24th November 2015
Printed: Gill Ellis
Assistant Director for Learning and Skills (DCYP)
At a Glance Action
All heads of service and child care setting managers, managers and supervisors and SENCO’s:
- Familiarise themselves with the contents of this policy
- Ensure this policy is implemented in their area of work or adapted to suit the needs of the setting
- Ensure all parties are fully informed of their roles and responsibilities with due regard to manual handling
- School governing bodies to formally agree to implement or adapt this policy to meet the legislative requirements, this should be formally minuted.
- Ensure all employees / volunteers are trained to the appropriate standards with due regard to the relevant legislation and agreed local guidance.
- Ensure the recruitment and selection process pays due regard to potential employees physical fitness and capability to undertake the duties of the post
- Ensure risk assessments are completed (and reviewed regularly) for all moving and handling activities
- Ensure detailed moving and handling plans are developed where necessary
- Ensure suitable equipment is available and maintenance / inspection and testing arrangements are in place
- Periodically review all arrangements to ensure continued compliance with this policy
Definition and Objectives-What is Manual Handling?
The definition of manual handling ‘It is any activity that involves the use of bodily force in lifting lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying supporting or otherwise moving a person or object’.
Under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR) the Directorate should:
- AVOID hazardous manual handling operations, so far as is reasonably practicable
- ASSESS those manual handling operations that cannot be avoided
- ACTION should be taken to reduce the risk of injury from manual handling operations so far as is reasonably practicable
- REVIEW the risk assessments when significant change occurs or on a pre-determined date
The Directorate’s objectives are:
- To ensure all employees are informed of their manual handling responsibilities for ensuring their own safety and that of others.
- To provide appropriate occupational health surveillance and support to employees who require it.
- To strive to continually reduce work related musculo-skeletal disorders and accidents.
- To consult with employee’s representatives on matters relating to safe manual handling of children and young people using established forums e.g. DCYP Health and Safety Committee, Health, Safety and Welfare Committee and Employee Liaison.
- To provide adequate resources to implement this policy.
- To ensure that within the health and safety framework that manual handling has equal ranking with other management responsibilities and is given due care and consideration.
- To provide access to competent manual handling training, advice and best practice in line with national guidelines as set out by The National Back Exchange (NBE) and The Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
- To monitor the services’ safer manual handling activity through audit and review.
Organisation – People and Responsibilities
To ensure that this policy is effectively implemented throughout the directorate the manual handling responsibilities of management, employees and key stakeholders are specified in this section.
Individual service areas and childcare settings may need to provide more detailed responsibilities and arrangements depending on the size, structure and the nature of work activities or services provided.
Reference should also be made to the DCYP Health and Safety Policy which provides more information on roles and responsibilities.
Specific responsibilities relating to manual handling are included in this policy, for childcare setting mangers and schools.
Heads of Service and Child Care Setting Managers e.g. head of learning, head teachers, locality managers, nursery managers and unit managers
Without detracting from the Director’s overall responsibilities, Heads of Service and Child Care Setting Managers are responsible for safer manual handling leadership within their respective service area. Their actions and decisions should reflect the objectives set out in this policy.
They have a particular duty to implement the safer manual handling policy within their service or childcare setting.
Responsibilities are to:
- To contribute, implement, communicate, monitor and review the manual handling policy and performance including setting objectives, performance standards and performance indicators.
- Ensure that adequate time and resources are allocated to staff in their teams to fulfil their manual handling responsibilities.
- Ensure that safe manual handling roles are clearly and logically delegated to successive levels of management and who are sufficiently senior and competent to discharge them.
- Ensure via respective management teams, that risk assessments and safe working practices in relation to safe manual handling in their service area have been undertaken and reviewed as necessary
- Develop and promote a safe manual handling culture for children and young people with a disability by encouraging active participation and involvement of relevant employees.
- Develop and implement an action plan in order to achieve the safe manual handling objectives outlined in this policy and address deficiencies identified in audit and performance monitoring reports.
- Provide employees with necessary information, instruction, training and supervision in safer manual handling to ensure competence and consistency of handling skills. This will include systems to identify training needs arising from recruitment, staff changes, changes in legislation, new equipment etc.
- Ensure occupational health surveillance is provided when required.
- Detail arrangements for consultation between management and safety representatives, ideally through the health and safety committees and employee liaison groups.
- Ensure that all employees are aware of their responsibilities in this safer manual handling policy and that managers are held accountable for compliance within their respective portfolios.
- Ensure that regular safety inspections of manual handling equipment in the workplace are carried out in accordance with DCYP policy, legislation and guidance.
- Ensure that all manual handling accidents, dangerous occurrences and near misses are reported in line with DCYP policy and guidance and that all such incidents are investigated and LACHS procedure is followed (seek guidance and assistance where required).
- Resolve any manual handling incidents and if necessary refer to the relevant persons/service/director.
- Ensure that safe manual handling matters are effectively communicated throughout the area of responsibility.
- Heads of Service can appoint an operational key manual handling coordinator if they wish to act as a point of contact and coordinator for safer manual handling in their respective service areas.
N.B. This person does not relieve the Head of Service of their statutory manual handling responsibilities. If an operational key manual handling coordinator is not appointed the head of service must undertake these duties.
***Note for community schools, community special schools, voluntary controlled schools, maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units the Local Authority (LA) is the employer and these schools are strongly advised to formally adopt this policy in its entirety. This should be demonstrated by stating in writing how they will implement the policy in their area of responsibility. (See Appendix 1)
For foundation schools, foundation special schools, voluntary aided schools and academy schools the governing body is the employer and these schools are advised to formally adopt/adapt this policy where necessary and implement it ensuring that local arrangements are in place.
School Governors (school specific)
School Governors have the following responsibilities:
- Assist and support the head teacher/senior management team in the implementation of the safer manual handling of children policy.
- Ensure that the employer’s safer manual handling policy is implemented and monitored and brought to the attention of all staff.
- Ensure that the school produces a policy statement and that it is formally approved by the governing body (see appendix 1)
- Assign adequate resources (financial and management) for safer manual handling and also ensure that there is access to competent advice.
- Ensure that risk assessments and personal handling plans are in place and are implemented
- Report to the Head of Service on matters relating to manual handling of children with which they need further assistance.
- Ensure that regular safety inspections of manual handling equipment are carried out by competent persons.
- Monitor manual handling practice by receiving reports about training undertaken by staff, ensure that a manual handling action plan is produced, receive reports about accident statistics and investigations
Head Teachers should produce a school specific manual handling policy statement and submit it to the governing body for approval. They should also submit regular reports on safe manual handling e.g. results of accidents/investigations, training analysis etc.
Governors can find further clarification of responsibilities relating to overarching health and safety on the DCSF website www.governornet.co.uk a guide to the law for school governors.
Managers and Supervisors
Employees who line manage or supervise others e.g. heads of departments in schools, duty managers, office managers etc. are responsible for the health, safety and welfare in relation to manual handling for their staff and others who may be affected by the activities over which they have day to day control. They should assist and support their head of service/child care setting manager in the implementation of safer manual handling of children.
In particular managers and supervisor’s responsibilities to:
- Implement the services’ and any local manual handling policies, ensuring that guidance and procedures are effectively implemented in the area under their control.
- Ensure that a safe working environment is maintained as far as is reasonably practicable.
- Ensure that suitable and sufficient manual handling risk assessments and personal handling plans are carried out that identify manual handling hazards and arrangements are made to manage the residual risks.
- Ensure that all the employees under their control are competent in the tasks that are requested of them. This will include providing appropriate manual handling training, instruction, information and supervision. In line with recommended best practice by the National Back Exchange (NBE) all people handlers should have mandatory updates.
- Equipment provided should be fit for purpose and maintained and serviced accordingly in line with relevant legislation.
- Ensure that all the employees under their control are fully aware of their responsibilities and understand their responsibilities in relation to the safe manual handling policy, procedures and guidance relating to their area of work.
- Ensure that all employees are accountable for their compliance with this policy.
- Ensure that occupational health surveillance and support is provided where necessary.
- Ensure that all work related children and young people manual handling accidents/incidents that cause or have the potential to cause injury/illness are reported and investigated in line with service procedures. They must also take the necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of the accident/incidence.
- Ensure that the employees are fully conversant with the reporting procedures for accidents/incidents in relation to safe manual handling of children and young people.
- Resolve any manual handling of children and young people problems referred to them and bring to the attention of the senior manager any problems they are unable to resolve.
Manual Handling Advisor
The manual handling advisor provides a specialist advisory function to DCYP and is responsible for the development of effective manual handling policies, strategies and guidance on all aspects of safe manual handling of children. They act on behalf of the Director of DCYP and Heads of Service to develop, implement and monitor the DCYP manual handling policies and strategies.
- To ensure compliance with the relevant manual handling legislation, manual handling policy and to audit and monitor that this is being effectively followed.
- Provision and maintenance of manual handling codes of practice and any associated risk assessments.
- To provide specific advice and information on manual handling and be responsible for disseminating it from professional bodies/advisory services to DCYP establishments.
- To liaise with the corporate safety unit on the provision of general health and safety advice where this overlaps with specialist advice; provision of relevant health and safety manual handling training for employees on specialist related safety matters.
- To liaise with the corporate safety unit regarding accidents/incidents and dangerous occurrences relating to the manual handling of children and providing advice to prevent a recurrence.
- Report to their line manager and appropriate care setting manager any shortcomings they observe in manual handling of children and health and safety provision.
- Receive information about significant accidents/incidents which occur in manual handling from the group safety adviser. Provide aid and support to assist in the investigation of the accident/incident.
- To improve the quality of care provided to the children and young people ensuring their safety and promoting their independence as far as is reasonably practicable.
- To develop an inclusive approach to safe manual handling of children and young people with a disability to aid their access to the curriculum or areas of activity.
- To develop health promotion strategy to help reduce the risk of work related musculoskeletal injury.
- To provide specific, specialist risk assessments for children with complex needs and provide necessary training to staff for that individual situation.
- To support settings where appropriate in completing personal handling plans.
- To liaise with other agencies including health, local authorities, senior management teams, governing bodies, parents/carers, external organisations to promote and encourage safer manual handling.
- To develop and implement a training strategy to ensure that all staff have the appropriate levels of competence in safer manual handling and that the training records are retained centrally. This can be related to handling children and postural awareness for staff.
- To provide advice to Physical Resources and Procurement (PRP) department, Special Educational Needs (SEN) department and home adaptations team on specialist manual handling equipment, adaptations, reasonable adjustment and safe systems of work on new builds, capital projects and PFI projects.
- To ensure the cost effective purchase of safer manual handling equipment provided for children and young people across the authority in liaison with the Children with a disability team adaptations manager, Medequip and the PRP team
- To advise and assist childcare settings managers if they appoint a manual handling coordinator and provide necessary support, training and guidance.
Employees –at all levels (includes trainees, volunteers etc.)
All employees at all levels of the organisation have health and safety responsibilities. These are as follows:
- To work in accordance with the information, instruction and training provided on safe manual handling of children and young people and to use any equipment provided in accordance with the advice, training and given instructions.
- To inform their line manager of anything that may affect their ability to undertake safe manual handling activities.
- To follow the control measures as identified in the manual handling risk assessment.
- To refrain from misusing or interfering with any manual handling equipment that has been provided to aid the manual handling process.
- To report immediately any faults in the manual handling equipment to their appropriate line manager
- To report all manual handling incidents/accidents immediately to their line manager and seek first aid advice for any injury sustained.
- To stop any manual handling activity immediately where it is believed there may be serious/imminent danger to themselves or service users.
- To be aware of the safer manual handling policy, procedures and guidance and any emergency procedures.
- To cooperate, as far as is necessary to enable the service to fulfil any duty or comply with any requirements of current or future manual handling legislation.
- To actively participate in the manual handling risk assessment process.
Contractors/Agency workers/Volunteers/Helpers/Informal carers
This is a potentially complex area but in many respects the duties of an employer towards any of these categories are the same as their duties towards their “own” employees. Equally these categories would have the same duties as an “employee” see above. It should be noted that legal H&S responsibilities cannot be transferred by means of a contract. There is a clear legal duty for co-operation and communication and sharing of information between all parties. Other issues to consider would include how have these individuals or companies been vetted and who will be responsible for ensuring their training and competency.
Employee Health Care Unit
Have a responsibility to:
- Carry out pre-employment health screening
- Provide advice and support to staff who have suffered musculoskeletal injury
- Provide advice to managers regarding individual staff and their fitness for work
- Liaise with the moving and handling team where appropriate to support individual staff back to work
Transport (including home to school, school minibuses, YPAT and respite care travel)
Home to school transport standards and procedures should be in line with this policy. The responsibility for risk assessments rests with the School Transport section but there will need to be communication and sharing of information between all parties (school, parents, carers, escorts therapists etc.) to ensure the safety of children and staff.
(See transports risk assessments STS11 and STS006)
All other premises that transport children and young people should follow the guidance in this policy.
The Therapist is responsible for:
- Completing risk assessments relevant to their activities with children and young people on the authorities premises.
- Providing specific training to enable authority staff to undertake any delegated therapeutic handling task competently and safely.
- Ensuring appropriate assessment is undertaken to identify equipment required by an individual young person for the therapeutic programme.
- Liaison with the head of service/manager of child care setting in order for the risk to individual members of staff to be appropriately considered.
- Reviewing the therapy programme and related risk assessment as above, in consultation with the manager/teacher/head of child care setting/head teacher
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 imposes a legal requirement to carry out risk assessments
A team approach to risk assessment is often a very effective way of achieving workable solutions. The advice and views of children and young people (as far as is reasonably practicable), their families and other relevant staff e.g. Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist must be sought and taken into account.
A risk assessment must be carried out prior to care provision. This approach will ensure the young person is moved safely and, where relevant, the appropriate methods and equipment are used in each situation. The assessment must take account of risks both to staff, informal carers and the children and young people.
Whilst there may be scope for some generic assessments, in many instances there would need to be a specific risk assessment and handling plan for each young person. There should be no blanket solutions that are routinely applied to all children and young people except in emergencies (see page 15
Wherever more than one provider delivers care or services to the same young person, good communication and co-operation is needed between them e.g. education, social care and health; to ensure that health and safety issues are managed in a consistent manner. Without this communication, the service provider will not be able to complete a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to ensure that the young people and employees are not exposed to unreasonable risk.
The risk assessment must clearly recognise the differences in the requirements of moving a young person as part of a therapy programme (therapeutic handling) and moving the same person to meet their education and care needs for daily living.
It is the responsibility of the Head of Service/Child Care Setting Manager to ensure that risk assessments and safe systems of work are in place for all activities involving the moving and handling of young people. Risk assessments must be undertaken by the relevant staff e.g. managers/teachers/care staff, where necessary advice should be sought from the manual handling advisor for complex cases.
It is the individual Employee’s responsibility to undertake only those activities for which they have been trained and they are capable of performing. They must inform their Manager/Head of Child Care Setting if they are not capable of performing certain or all manual handling activities related to a specific young person.
Safe Systems of Work
Safe systems of work are developed by carrying out a risk assessment and identifying effective control measures to minimise risk of injury to staff and young people; the process is outlined below. There are 2 steps, which will help determine a Safe System of Work;
Risk Assessment - Basic risk assessment (Appendix 2)
Personal Handling Plan – Detailed (Appendix 3)
Each risk assessment and handling plan should be signed and dated by the person completing it. They must be retained in line with current guidelines for document retention.
Basic Risk Assessment (Appendix 2)
This is a quick check using a checklist to determine whether there is a need for a more detailed risk assessment. If you tick high to several items, it is likely that a detailed assessment is needed. As a minimum it should take into account the following;
- Task – the transfer or movement involved
- Individual Capability – of the member of staff,
- Load – the young person to be handled
- Environment – including space, lighting, distance, floor surface
- Other factors – poor communication, posture restricted by clothing
This type of quick assessment would be appropriate for moving and handling of nursery children/ babies without special needs; a more detailed assessment is unlikely to be necessary
Personal Handling Plan (Appendix 3)
A detailed handling plan should be undertaken when the basic risk assessment checklist indicates the need.
The handling plan must take into account the following:
- A fuller explanation of the task, individual capability, load environment and other factors
- An assessment of risk level for each activity
- The risks to young people and employees must be considered
- Recommendations for immediate to long term action which should be signed and dated
- The responsibility to ensure a handling plan is in place lies with the manager of the child care setting and may need to be considered within the EHCP (education health care plan)
- The health, safety and dignity of all those concerned is paramount.
- Access to the curriculum, therapies, and other activities are of vital consideration.
- There is no absolute safe weight limits for lifting, the task may need to be mechanised or use team lifting
- Wherever possible the handling plan should be completed in conjunction with the young person/parents/carers and staff
- The handling plan should be signed and dated by an appropriate assessor / manager and will be reviewed either at the young person’s annual review or if significant changes have occurred.
Differences of Opinion
When a young person (or parent speaking for their child) refuses to be moved according to handling plan, reasons should be explored together with a discussion regarding the benefits of the plan. A solution may be to use another method or piece of equipment. If the young person or parent still refuses, the manager of the child care setting must consider the risk of injury to staff from manual handling balanced against the risk to the young person if the procedure is not carried out. The result of this assessment would usually be to change an element of care. This should be agreed by all concerned.
The moving and handling advisor should be involved at an early stage to help resolve issues and contribute to the risk assessment process. Ultimately if the young person or parent insists on a practice, which is unsafe, then the service can refuse to carry out this procedure and negotiate the level of care that can be provided safely. In this situation legal advice should be sought from the legal and risk management teams.
Training is an essential component of proper risk management based on sound risk assessment. Because it is not always possible to avoid manual handling tasks even where support equipment is available, it is essential that all staff who attend young people with mobility difficulties are suitably trained in safer handling techniques.
Provision of training alone will not ensure safe moving and handling practices become integrated into all daily activities. Effective training will support safe systems of work but is not a substitute for their implementation. Formal training sessions alone will be insufficient to achieve a safer moving and handling culture. Operational support, for example, workplace supervision, team meetings and provision of resources to improve the task or working environment will further facilitate the process.
Managers of child care settings are responsible for ensuring that they have in place a training strategy. This Strategy should be based upon task and needs analysis and risk assessment, which acknowledges the commitment to reduce all aspects of moving and handling and takes due consideration of other provider agencies.
The fitness of the staff needs to be addressed when assessing the workers capability to undertake handling tasks safely.
Staff should not be assigned to moving and handling tasks before they receive appropriate training.
It is the child care setting manager’s responsibility to ensure that there is a planned, continuous and regularly updated staff training programme in place. It must reflect both the changing needs of the young people and also of staff. It is essential that accurate individual training records are maintained and kept on personal files retained by the DCYP establishment.
Training is mandatory for all staff who undertake moving and handling activities, staff should undertake regular manual handling updates as determined by the task and needs analysis. Child care settings managers would also benefit from attending an induction to manual handling training.
To be effective training will need to include:
- Legal responsibilities and duty of care
- Risk management and assessment
- Safe mobility and handling techniques
- Understanding of unsafe methods for manual handling and how to determine a safe approach
- Appropriate use of manual handling equipment
- Procedures to be followed when the designated system of work cannot be applied i.e. failure of equipment
Manual handling tasks, which involve handling even very small children and young people, require staff to be physically able to safely achieve the range of movement required. Within the recruitment and selection process, those with responsibility for appointing staff must determine their fitness and capability to undertake the duties of the post. Job descriptions should accurately reflect the physical aspects of the work.
It must be recognised that moving and handling children and young people could present additional risks to those with existing health problems or who are pregnant. Individual capabilities and limitations must form an integral part of the risk assessment and the resulting safe systems of work.
There is a statutory requirement to take particular account of risk to new or expectant mothers. The risk assessment must be reviewed in consultation with them and an agreed safe system of working devised. This will be an ongoing process as the pregnancy progresses.
Managers of child care settings should monitor sickness absence and identify recurring musculo-skeletal related periods of absence in order for appropriate remedial action to be taken this may include revising risk assessments and procedures, making reasonable adjustments or referring employees for medical attention.
Staff should be encouraged to report problems as soon as they are recognised; e.g. shoulder neck or back pain, as it develops, so that remedial action can be taken promptly.
Following any accident or injury, the child care setting must follow the accident reporting procedure immediately. Refer to the DCYP Guidance Note the manager of the child care setting is responsible for completing accident/incident/near miss investigations to determine what actions are required to prevent a recurrence.
For complex or serious incidents they should contact the Group Safety Advisor and the Moving and Handling Advisor in the first instance.
The LACHS accident report must be completed as soon as possible in as much detail as possible and sent to the Group Safety Team and they will make a decision as to whether it is reportable under RIDDOR.
The risk assessment relating to either the task or young person concerned must be reviewed to:
- Ensure the required/control measures have been adhered to
- Determine the validity of the assessment and control measures currently in place.
- Identify any further measures that are necessary to prevent further accidents/injuries.
The Manual Handling Regulations do not preclude well-intentioned improvisation in an emergency but what is an Emergency?
An emergency can be defined as …..
“…. a sudden, unforeseen event requiring immediate action.”
Therefore an event should only be considered a true emergency if it is not possible to anticipate it happening. All other foreseeable events must have robust systems, identified by risk assessment, to ensure the safety of all concerned when they happen.
The risk assessment process will enable procedures to be established for emergency situations, where otherwise instinctive and unsafe practices would continue.
Safe working practices must be developed through use of risk assessment by identifying:
- What is the risk to the young person?
- Who will be responsible for the young person in an emergency?
- How will the young person be moved in this situation?
- Any equipment that may be necessary for use in the specific situation. E.g. evac chairs, slide sheets, hoists etc.
- Any protocol established setting out clearly defined responsibilities and procedures for dealing with emergencies identified through risk assessment.
Staff must be trained to use any specialist equipment, identified for use in emergency situations, e.g. evac chairs, stair climbers, with frequent updates to ensure both confidence and competence to comply with the protocols in the “live” situation.
HANDLING AIDS AND EQUIPMENT
There is a wide range of manual handling aids and equipment available such as mobile or ceiling track hoists and slings. Other aids will help improve the handler’s posture and help reduce the cumulative strain associated with moving and handling activities, examples include: transfer stand aids, handling belts, sliding sheets, turntables etc.
The risk assessment and handling plan will indicate where handling aids and equipment are required. Suitable training and instruction should be provided to staff that are required to use handling aids or equipment during the course of their work.
Provision / Procurement
Any manual handling aid must be carefully selected. Where choice of appropriate handling aids exceeds the scope and level of expertise within the setting the advice of the Manual Handling Advisor should be sought. All handling aids selected for a specific task must meet the following criteria:
- Be appropriate for its intended use, for the young person, the handler, the environment and task involved.
- Reduce the risk associated with the task, and not introduce further, uncontrolled risks.
- Be well maintained according to both manufacturer’s instructions and legislative requirements (subject to inspection/ maintenance regime)
- Comply with the relevant British / European Standards
- Not be adapted or tampered with in any other way
Where the risk assessment indicates the need for small handling aids or equipment to reduce the risk of injury to staff when assisting a young person to access the school curriculum, the school is responsible for its provision.
Any other child care setting is responsible for funding the purchase of smaller pieces of handling equipment.
Individuals who are responsible for the procurement of equipment should ensure that equipment is sourced from reputable suppliers and that the equipment itself meets the criteria outlined above. In order to do this they will need to be able to demonstrate that they have carried out reasonable checks.
MAINTENANCE OF EQUIPMENT
All equipment is subject to Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and in many cases the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) will apply.
Each piece of equipment must be thoroughly examined, inspected and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s and legislative requirements (see below). Records to evidence this should be retained on site and be available for inspection as required. All defects identified must be promptly rectified and the equipment may need to be put out of use until they are.
Legislation requires that lifting equipment, used for lifting people be subject to a thorough examination by a competent person1 every 6 months (or as determined by a scheme drawn up by a “competent person”.
In addition to all of the above each piece of equipment should be subject to pre-use visual checks by the user to ensure that it is safe to use and the LOLER inspections are within date. If there is any concern about the equipment following the visual checks the equipment should be reported to their manager and removed from use.
1 A competent person is defined as someone who has sufficient technical and practical knowledge of the lift to be able to detect any defects and assess how significant they are. It is important that they are sufficiently independent and impartial to allow them to make an objective assessment. Accreditation to BS EN 45004 is an indication of the competence of an inspection body. Most insurance companies can recommend accredited inspecting organisations.
Where shared, hired, borrowed or leased equipment is used – e.g. from NHS/PCT other sources etc. the legal “duty holder” would be considered to be the manager of the child care setting and as such has legal responsibility to ensure that the lifting equipment is thoroughly examined and that it is safe to use.
To comply with the law every employer shall ensure that no lifting equipment leaves his undertaking or is obtained from another unless it is accompanied by physical evidence that the last thorough examination has been carried out.
MONITORING, AUDIT and REVIEW
Performance monitoring is a key part to managing safer manual handling. The primary aim is to ensure that manual handling standards in the workplace conform to the standards with the objectives of this policy.
Each childcare setting or service area will monitor manual handling performance by having arrangements for collecting and evaluating accident/incident statistics, staff absences etc.
In addition to routine monitoring the manual handling advisor will carry out manual handling audits to enable a more critical appraisal