This morning not one single blind was produced at our factory, as every production and installation technician took the morning off from their normal duties to undertake a fully comprehensive manual handling training course held on site at our production facilities.
Manual handling covers the lifting and moving (including carrying, pushing or pulling) of any load. More than a third of all work place injuries are manual handling related, with around 50% of these resulting in injury to a persons back, which costs both the employee and employer money in terms of time off work to recover and lack of productivity (being a person down).
Whilst we have custom designed benches that provide an optimum working height to assemble our products and bespoke assembly jigs that raise / lower our products for the set up of them along with trolleys for the moving of product from one area to another, our technicians still have lift our products from their benches onto / off of the assembly rigs and then onto / off of the trolleys and again onto our delivery vehicles to name just a few manual handling processes (not including the installation element). With our products weighing anything upto in excess of 100kg, with dimensions of over 7m long, the correct lifting and moving techniques are essential along with the additional mechanical (ie trolleys) and custom designed aids (ie benches).
The objective for the course was to ensure all technicians understood the reasons behind and continued to adopt the correct method (technique) of lifting and moving any loads (as briefly illustrated by the image above) and the importance of this to their health and well being. Additionally it was an opportunity for our technicians to discuss and put forward any (sensible) suggestions of ways we could potentially further minimise any manual handling they undertake of our products.
Investing in training is not cheap, with us spending thousands of pounds every year having specific, tailor made training courses provided to all our employees covering various topics that relate to the work our technicians undertake, however, it saves injuries and improves efficiency along with providing an opportunity for team building and therefore is highly worthwhile.