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ForeFront calls on businesses to go “Back to Basics” to reduce the cost of Manual Handling injuries

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Grimsby based Health & Safety Training specialists Forefront Training are calling on businesses to abandon the old “knees bent, back straight” approach to Manual Handling, and use their pioneering “BASICS” approach to Manual Handling training, or risk falling foul of new legislation.
BASICS is a mnemonic devised by ForeFront which stands for:
B – Best Foot Forward: Stand with your feet apart and one foot slightly forward
A – Assess the load: Tilt or push with your hands to assess the load
S – Spine: Keep your spine in its natural position
I – Initiate with the legs: Lift using your legs, not your back
C – Control: Take your time and keep the load close to the body at all times
S – Stop twisting!: Moving your feet prevents a twist…and the biggest cause of injury!
But even the best guidelines are no substitute for a well structured training programme. It is how the course is delivered – hands-on and practical – which makes all the difference, as Dave McDonald, ForeFront’s Principal Consultant explains:
“At ForeFront, we have incorporated the latest developments in health & safety practice into hands-on courses; tailored to each company we work with. Manual handling requirements vary tremendously between industries and we teach by applying the latest techniques to each company’s individual working environment. Rather than concentrating entirely on theory, our trainers use practical, on-site examples using the BASICS model, to ensure that participants on our courses gain relevant experience in best practice that they can use in their everyday working lives.
Our programmes include the special training of an in-house ‘Manual Handling Champion’ ensuring that there is a point of contact for everyone in the workplace, who can oversee and help their co-workers to implement our training correctly after the training programme is finished.”
The message from Forefront is strong…
“In order to avoid fines of up to £20,000 and/or a prison sentence stemming from the new H&S (Offences) Act, which came into force in January 2009, employers need to provide suitable and sufficient training to all staff, for their health, safety and welfare.
In the current economic climate, many companies may be tempted to cut costs by taking their manual handling training in-house, but this is false economy. Many in-house manual handling programmes are based on the outdated approaches, which can cause as many injuries as they prevent!
Another problem with many in-house Manual Handling programmes is the lack of follow through. Many companies provide training, but do not follow this up with adequate support, allowing employees to slip back into unsafe practices.
By outsourcing their Manual Handling training to a specialist Manual Handling company, which offers training tailored to its specific needs, businesses can be sure they are receiving the safest, most up-to-date training and are effectively protected from legislation.
This can also help businesses to reduce the cost of Lost Time Accidents (LTA). The biggest cause of accident/injury in the workplace, Manual Handling accounts for over a third of all LTAs at a cost to industry of over £1 billion annually!”

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