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17th November 2016

New Risk Assessment Of Pushing And Pulling Developed By HSE

The HSE has developed a new tool to assist organisations in reducing risks from manual handling pushing and pulling activities.

The guidance, entitled ‘Risk assessment of pushing and pulling’ (RAPP) provides a simple method for evaluating the levels of risk associated to your activities. By following the guidance, you will be able to identify your high-risk activities and check the effectiveness of your control measures.

The tool covers two distinct types of operation:

  1. Moving a load which is mounted on wheels
  2. Moving loads without wheels which involves dragging/sliding, rolling or churning (for example, manoeuvring a tilted barrel)

Each type of operation is then broken down further by the typical equipment which may be used, or the manual handling method applied for movement.

There are flow charts to follow for both types of operation; leading you through a number of factors which affect the risk of injury. These include:

  • Weight
  • Posture
  • Grip
  • Work pattern
  • Travel distance
  • Floor surface
  • Obstacles

Each factor receives a score based the level of risk, highlighting which create the greatest risk e.g. certain tasks may require poor posture, or require a number of obstacles to be negotiated whilst moving from A to B.

You’ll also now have a cumulative risk score for the overall task.

When assessing a number of different push/pull activities within your organisation, the cumulative scores can be used to compare tasks against each other. This enables you to prioritise your focus on those which carry the highest risk scores.

The results should mean that you can evaluate the effectiveness of your control measures quantitatively, thus giving you a firm grounding on which to base your risk assessments and safe working practices.

For more guidance on how to implement the RAPP tool within your organisation, ask your Lighthouse Health & Safety consultant to review push/pull manual handling risks on their next scheduled visit.

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