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Norma Findlay B.Sc. (Hons) Occupational Therapy; member of the Health and Care Professions Council and the National Back Exchange. Norma has been a practising occupational therapist for fourteen years, specialising in working with children and adults who have complex physical needs. She currently works part-time as a community occupational therapist/manual handling facilitator in addition to her freelance work as an OT quantification reporter and expert witness in personal injury cases. Her previous positions include Moving and Handling Development Officer for City of Edinburgh Council, Children and Families Department, and she holds the Centaur train the trainer IOSH accredited manual handling trainer qualification.
Guidelines and Statutory Requirements
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
Regulation 4 places duties on employers to
avoid, so far as is reasonably possible, the risk of injury to employees which could result from the manual handling of loads
assess all manual handling operations which involve a risk of injury
reduce the risk of injury arising from any such operations to the lowest reasonably practicable level
inform and instruct employees in understanding manual handling risks and establishing safe systems of work.
Regulation 5 requires employees to comply with any system of work put in place by the employer to reduce the risk of injury when carrying out manual handling operations.
Guidance on Training Standards from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
“The society has recommended for some time that 6 participants to 1 trainer is the maximum for safety when undertaking the practical components of manual handling training. This is to ensure that the trainer can be fully aware of all that is happening in the class and intervene as appropriate. Any number above this could be putting participants at risk of damage, and the trainer and those employing them at risk of litigation”. (November 2000).
All trainers are health care professionals (chartered physiotherapists, occupational therapists or nurses) and are experienced in modern approaches to manual handling. TfC’s position is that sound moving and handling training can only be provided by people who are suitably qualified and experienced to be able to respond accurately to the variety of questions and conditions which course participants are likely to present.
All moving and handling courses incorporate a problem solving approach to minimising risks for client and carer.
Health: Important Notice
Participants are required to carry out the practical components of the course for successful completion, and therefore need to be fit (i.e. fit to work, no acute injuries). They will be asked to fill out an injury questionnaire at the start of the course and, if they have any concerns, should report these to the course tutor. If organisations have concerns regarding potential participants, please contact TfC prior to booking.
TfC attendance certificate for moving and handling training courses to meet statutory requirements for risk reduction.
Which Course? Moving and Handling or Moving and Handling Awareness?
Select Moving and Handling if your client group includes service users who are dependent. "Dependent", in moving and handling terms means requiring significant physical assistance from one or more carers to enable personal mobility or change or maintenance of position for care or functional purposes. "Significant" in this context means to the extent of requiring assessment of the risk of manual handling injury.
Select Moving and Handling Awareness if your service users are semi-dependent. These are service users who are able to stand and walk, with or without a walking aid, and/or require only supervision, instruction, encouragement or the minimum of physical assistance from a carer (e.g. touch support for balance or to guide movement).
If you work with babies, infants, children and young adults, your training requirements are likely to be met by the Awareness Course unless you are working with clients who have significant additional needs. If you would like further advice, we would be pleased to refer you to the course director.
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