Staff across Britain are expected to work longer hours to cope with demand – whether that’s those in shops dealing with customers, warehouse staff lifting and moving heavy parcels or delivery drivers on the road for hours on end. To understand the scale of this, some of the UK’s biggest brands including Amazon, Argos and Royal Mail have stated that courier firms hire 52% more lorries and vans to cope with Black Friday logistics.
As the workplace health and safety regulator for the transport and logistics sector, this industry is one HSE is particularly concerned about at this time of year.
So, what can the transport and logistics industry do to manage the risk of MSDs?
HSE argues that no worker’s health should be made worse by the work they do. They launched their Go Home Healthy
campaign to protect workers’ health.
As part of this campaign, they have compiled 10 tips for employers to help ensure workers in the transport and logistics sector stay healthy and well over the busy Black Friday period:
- Involve your workers in planning for this busy period to make sure contingency plans do not increase risks to workers’ health and safety.
- Ensure workers load their vehicles to match delivery routes to reduce the amount of unnecessary lifting and moving.
- Provide lifting aids and trollies for deliveries and train and encourage workers to use them. This can help reduce the risk of personal injury.
- If workers must lift, make sure they are familiar with and apply the safe lifting and carrying principles to reduce potential for strains and sprains.
- Encourage workers to get help and handle heavy items with care. This can help reduce the risk of serious personal injury. Take care with awkward sizes, shapes and supporting heavy loads which can present increased risks.
- Encourage workers to do warm-up exercises and anti-fatigue stretches - these can reduce the chance of personal injury when making deliveries.
- Allow workers the opportunity to have rest periods to reduce fatigue and maintain concentration.
- Provide new and / or temporary workers with induction training and ongoing support tailored to what they will be handling.
- Encourage workers to speak up if they are beginning to struggle or feel under pressure to meet delivery deadlines. Listen to your workers and take appropriate action to address their needs and provide support.
- Meeting deadlines is important for the business but make sure that this is done safely. Lead by example to give workers the right messages and help promote a safe and healthier place to work.
View the HSE article