Manual Handling Training- ‘SAID’

Completed a discussion of risk assessment and manual handling training with the fifth year students at VUT Osteopathy today.

We discussed the need to either change the demands of the task- load, reps, duration, range etc. or increase the capacity of the worker to complete the task- increasing flexibility, stability through motion, strength, muscular endurance etc.

In between these issues lie the work place policies and regulations that influence behaviours around health and safety and productivity.

These things sit either side of a spectrum when looking at increasing worker efficiency and/or reducing the risk of injury during a given task. Because of this, we need to know what exactly are the demands of the task. For example lifting 3 boxes into and out of car a few times per day may not be an issue for a physically fit individual, but lifting 20 boxes may be, or perhaps carrying these items over a long distance (increasing duration).

When looking at any given task we need to know where it is occurring and what position the person is in (e.e. standing, seated) , the action taking place (e.g. step forward and lift from knee height), what movement direction is involved, over what range, how many times, at what speed, for how long and with what load involved. Without knowing this it is difficult to know what environmental/ergonomic changes might reduce the demands of the task (e.g. a bench to lift items from rather than floor), or to be specific with any training or rehabilitation.

In regards to training…Adaptation occurs in response to the ‘SAID’ principle- specific adaptation to imposed demand.

If the rehabilitation or manual handling training at no point looks like the task, how can someone improve at it?


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