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News

A new way to help protect workers

HSE InfoLine : 03 May, 2006  (New Product)
The Manual Handling Assessment Chart (MAC) to help managers identify high risk manual handling jobs has been launched today by the Health and Safety Executive. The website http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/mac was also launched today. Employers, safety reps, health professionals and members of the public should find this site useful as it provides up to date information on health and safety relating to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) - the general name for conditions such as back pain and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).
The Manual Handling Assessment Chart to help managers identify high risk manual handling jobs has been launched today by the Health and Safety Executive.

The website http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/mac was also launched today. Employers, safety reps, health professionals and members of the public should find this site useful as it provides up to date information on health and safety relating to Musculoskeletal Disorders,the general name for conditions such as back pain and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).

Over a million people a year suffer from a MSD caused or made worse by work and in 2001/2002 it is estimated that about 37% of over three day injuries reported were due to manual handling.

The MAC is designed to help make easy and accurate assessments of three different types of operation: lifting, carrying and team handling. For each task it helps you go through the risk factors and record a risk rating - green, amber, red or purple - on a score sheet. The rating indicates which jobs are more likely to put workers health at a greater risk.

Graham Reeves, part of BP's Health and Safety team, was one of the first to try out the MAC. 'We were pleased to help develop and use this new tool based on HSE's current guidance. I found that the MAC was not only quick and effective but also helped me to decide the level of risk associated with each factor.

'The MAC allows you to 'score' an assessment which means you can rank individual assessments, decide which are the greatest risks and take action on these first.'

Richard Wheatcroft Senior Environmental Health Officer at Chesterfield Borough Council, said: 'The MAC has proved to be an invaluable tool in assessing manual handling activities. The exercise has really consolidated officers' competence in assessing manual handling activities. The MAC's success lies in its straight-forward approach.'

Malcolm Darvill, Head of Ergonomics policy at HSE said: 'On the website you can test out your own practical risk assessment ability by scoring some real manual handling tasks and then comparing your scores with an ergonomics expert. The website also offers users practical tips to reduce risks of MSD injury.'

The website also contains case studies, main guidance relating to MSD, links to other useful sites, research on MSD and answers questions on issues such as risk assessment, display screen equipment use and manual handling. The information on the site will be updated regularly.
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