OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 14 Lifting and Handling Loads

Section 208 Equipment

Subsection 208(1)

The lifting and handling of loads, usually called manual materials handling, is often physically demanding work. Lifting and handling involves the activities of lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, handling or transporting loads. The intent of this subsection is for employers to reduce the amount and type of manual handling that workers must do. By doing so, workers and employers may experience a reduction in the number of worker injuries (fewer sprains, strains, back injuries), a reduction in the number of lost-time claims, increases in efficiency and productivity, and fewer product losses through damage.

To accomplish this, employers must provide, where reasonably practicable, appropriate equipment that will help workers lift, lower, push, pull, carry, handle or transport heavy or awkward loads. In many cases the equipment will cost little; in others a meaningful investment may be necessary.

Figures 14.1 through 14.38 show examples of the type of equipment that can be used to eliminate or minimize the lifting and handling of loads.

Subsections 208(2) and 208(3)

The employer is responsible for making sure that workers use the equipment provided. Further, as required by section 15 of the OHS Regulation, workers must be trained in the safe operation of the equipment they are required to operate. Worker training must include the following:

(a) the selection of the appropriate equipment;
(b) the limitations of the equipment;
(c) an operator’s pre-use inspection;
(d) the use of the equipment;
(e) the operator skills required by the manufacturer’s specifications for the equipment;
(f) the basic mechanical and maintenance requirements of the equipment;
(g) loading and unloading the equipment if doing so is a job requirement; and
(h) the hazards specific to the operation of the equipment at the work site.

Workers must use the equipment provided and must apply the training that they have received.

For more information – General manual materials handling
Manual Handling in the Manufacturing Industry
Department of Labour, New Zealand
Code of Practice for Manual Handling
Department of Labour, New Zealand
Getting to Grips with Manual handling
Health and Safety Executive, United Kingdom
The Learning Zone – Manual Handling

Subsection 208(4)

For the purposes of section 208, a heavy or awkward load includes equipment, goods, supplies, persons and animals. As a result, this section applies not only to industrial settings where objects are handled, but also to workplaces such as hospitals, long term care facilities, veterinary clinics, pet stores and zoos where persons and animals are handled.

The lifting and handling of persons and animals presents its own set of challenges because of unpredictable movements, lack of appropriate lifting “handles”, and the possibility that the person or animal resists being lifted and handled.

Figure 14.1 Lever to lift and transport heavy objects

Figure 14.2 Two-wheeled trolley for moving doors and windows

Figure 14.3 Scissor lift to raise load at loading dock

Figure 14.4 Rollers in floor of cargo truck

Figure 14.5 Cart modified as tool caddy

Figure 14.6 Hand truck with loads raised off the floor

Figure 14.7 Hand trolley for bagged materials

Figure 14.8 Oversized box modified for two-person lifting

Figure 14.9 Specialized hand truck for moving spooled wire

Figure 14.10 Wheeled dolly for awkward access

Figure 14.11 Jig for holding and securing work piece

Figure 14.12 Drum lifterfor pouring liquids

Figure 14.13 Rotating pallet holder

Figure 14.14 Magnetic handles for carrying sheet metal

Figure 14.15 Magnetic lifting head on overhead crane

Figure 14.16 Spring-loaded hand truck platform that eliminates stooping

Figure 14.17 Sliding cargo floor

Figure 14.18 Hand operated hoist

Figure 14.19 Heavy loads suspended from and moved on overhead trolleys

Figure 14.20 Roller conveyor

Figure 14.21 Variable height scissor lift

Figure 14.22 Variable height mobile scissor lift truck

Figure 14.23 Four-wheel drum truck

Figure 14.24 Drum lifter

Figure 14.25 Forklift truck with specialized drum attachment

Figure 14.26 Lifter for manhole covers

Figure 14.27 Wheeled dolly for moving small, heavy items

Figure 14.28 Hydraulic jig mechanically positions and holds work piece

Figure 14.29 Overhead crane

Figure 14.30 Mobile floor crane

Figure 14.31 Vacuum lifter

Figure 14.32 Electric powered hoist on moveable davit arm

Figure 14.33 Specialized attachment for lifting stack of boxes

Figure 14.34 Spring-mounted weigh scale platform reduces unnecessary handling

Figure 14.35 Hose to container on trolley reduces lifting of liquid-filled container

Figure 14.36 Pouring device eliminates handling of container filled with hot liquid

Figure 14.37 Self height-adjusting storage container that turns

Figure 14.38 Sliding pallet