Do you really know the risks?
Manhole handling operations consist of several steps such as unlocking, opening, moving and repositioning the cover on the frame.
However, it is not always possible to perform these manoeuvres quickly and safely due to the condition of the manhole and the working area.
The operator may be faced with various problems, more or less complex, that interfere with routine maintenance work, for example:
- Manhole covers accidentally covered by asphalt during road resurfacing work.
- Manhole covers blocked by encrustations formed over time by various factors such as dirt, salinity or tar.
- Deformed and damaged manhole covers due to usage and the passage of heavy vehicles.
- Manhole covers located on uneven terrain, e.g. in rural areas.
- Manhole covers installed in the wrong direction.
- Manhole covers placed in the middle of busy roadways and in the presence of obstacles such as pavements or parked cars.
- Manhole covers that no longer adhere to the frame due to wear and tear and heavy daily pressure, leading to the risk of accidental lifting and annoying noise.
Manhole covers with non-existent attachment points due to casting errors or damaged due to intervention with rudimentary means, such as pickaxes.
Manhole covers are very often opened manually with inadequate tools (such as pickaxes), forcing operators to open, move and re-close manhole covers, sometimes very heavy ones, in a curved position.
Inadequate attention to the manual handling of loads results not only in physical exertion, but also in repercussions in the lumbar spine area as well as the risk of muscular trauma.
The use of unsuitable tools can lead to accidents, cause occupational illnesses to operators and damage manhole covers. It also carries the risk of financial penalties and imprisonment.
The term 'Manual Handling of Loads' refers to all operations for transporting or supporting a load which, due to its characteristics or as a result of adverse ergonomic conditions, may involve risks of injury, including back injuries.
The risk of manual handling of loads arises whenever a load has to be handled manually:
too heavy (25 kg for adult men; 15/20 kg for adult women);
cumbersome or difficult to grasp;
in unstable balance;
placed in such a position that it must be held or handled at a certain distance from the trunk or with a twisting or tilting of the trunk.
The pathologies caused by Manual Handling of Loads now occupy a high place in the statistics of occupational diseases: in the European Union almost one in four workers (24%) suffers from back pain and more than one in five (22%) complain of muscular pains. 62% of workers spend a quarter of their working day performing repetitive tasks with their hands, 46% work in painful and tiring positions, 35% carry or handle heavy loads.
In order to combat the phenomenon of accidents at work and occupational illnesses, it is necessary to use Valifter trolleys, which make it possible to work in conditions of absolute safety, while at the same time offering managers the concrete possibility of complying with the numerous occupational safety regulations.