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How do pushing and pulling contribute towards accidents at work

While lifting heavy loads is a major cause of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace, there are many accidents at work resulting from pushing and pulling loads.

In fact, 11% of manual handling accidents investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) involved instances where workers were pushing and pulling and 12% more of these work accidents involved pulling rather than pushing.

The most common personal injury reported was a back injury (44%) and the next most frequent complaint was injury to the upper limbs including the shoulder, arms, wrist and hand (28.6%). These were mostly attributed to poor posture and repetition of the pushing and pulling motions.

What are the psychosocial factors involved?
Pushing and pulling accidents at work do not only cause physical personal injuries to employees but can also cause psychosocial disorders. Psychosocial disorders may affect an employees' psychological response to their work, workplace conditions and relationships with fellow employees and supervisors.

Psychological problems are often associated with stress which can cause the muscles to tense up and, in turn, lead to musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, overworked individuals may start skipping breaks in order to catch up with their workload and overuse their muscles which can also lead to back and shoulder problems.

How can these accidents at work be reduced?
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) apply to pushing and pulling loads as well as lifting and carrying. It is down to an employer to avoid asking staff to carry out manual handling duties that may cause them personal injury, as much as reasonably possible.

Is also the employer's responsibility to monitor any unavoidable, potentially dangerous manual handling operations very carefully. Complaints of discomfort made by employees who are pushing and pulling loads must be taken seriously and acted upon.

If the pulling and pushing of loads is not satisfactory for all team members an alternative method should be considered in order to reduce the risk of an accident at work that could result in personal injury.

However, employees are also responsible for their own health and safety and that of any others who may be affected by their actions in the workplace. It is essential that employees communicate with their employers so that health and safety regulations can be maintained.

What is a Manual Handling Operations Regulations risk assessment?
The MHOR suggest that employees use a risk assessment filter and checklist to help them monitor the health and safety involved with manual handling tasks.

Questions relating to the task, individual, load, environment, equipment and psychosocial factors involved should all be asked before requesting employees to carry out a push/pull activity in order to reduce the risk of personal injury, for example:

How can I make a claim following an accident at work?
If you have suffered a personal injury as a result of an accident at work then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation through The Claim Solicitors.

We are experts at dealing with personal injury compensation claims and have a fantastic success rate.

You can claim for pain, suffering, lost earnings and we may even be able to arrange for you to receive free medical treatment with a specialist in your area.

We work on a no win no fee basis, which means that you can make a claim safe in the knowledge that you don't have to pay any upfront costs.  What's more, you dont't have to pay any legal fees in the event your claim is unsuccessful.

To find out more about the no win no fee claims process or to start an accident at work claim today call our advisors on 0800 197 32 32.