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21st April 2017
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What to consider when choosing a lifting and handling aid
There are a great number of factors to consider when choosing a lifting or handling aid, whether choosing to invest in it or simply selecting it to fulfil a certain job within a workplace. Choosing the right lifting and transportation aid for the job cannot only increase productivity and the volume of work which can be carried out, but it also fulfils an employer's safety obligations to the workforce. Employees have a higher level of protection from accident and injury when they select the right equipment, so ensuring everyone is informed enough to make these decisions is crucial.
"Choosing the right lifting and handling aids is crucial to the efficient operation of any business," says Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Pallet Trucks UK, one of the country's leading suppliers of manual handling equipment. "Employees need to be able to perform their duties with all the relevant safety assurances, and choosing the right equipment can also contribute to how efficient and productive they are."
Including employees in the assessment and selection process can increase their understanding of which tools and pieces of equipment are better to use in certain situations. It can also help in the investment process; employees are the ones who operate the machinery, so their word should be integral to the selection of a new piece of equipment. For instance, if a current fleet of hand pallet trucks has loud wheels or needs a higher level of control, employees will be best placed to inform managers of this, so that they can make an informed decision between nylon or PU wheels for their next investments.
There are also a number of practical everyday considerations that must be given. Understanding how apparatus will be maintained and how often it will need maintenance work can help to sway a decision, and the general size of the unit is also crucial. Investing in a long-forked pallet truck might seem like an excellent idea to increase productivity, but it is important to ensure that they fit within the required spaces first. Capacity is also important; just as pallet truck with too little capacity can be dangerous for employees to operate, having a pallet truck with too much capacity is a waste of funds which could be utilised elsewhere.
Many companies offer equipment on a trial basis so that a workplace can get a feel for how it will integrate into their working environment. Consider the training which might be involved for the workforce; will the new equipment require a renewal of manual handling training? If it is operated by a driver, how many will be qualified to operate it? Will more training be necessary? These are all important factors to think about when selecting manual handling equipment for any purpose.
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21st June 2013