Health and safety is a huge consideration within the rail industry, no more so than for engineers working on track.
All organisations work hard to ensure that staff are protected as much as possible from the risks associated with working in this potentially very dangerous environment, but it is just as important to consider the more common health and safety issues, such as manual handling.
Lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling loads, such as tools, equipment or materials, can cause a range of injuries to staff, including back problems and severe musculoskeletal disorders.
Failing to provide adequate protection against the risks of these common manual handling activities can have a considerable impact on not only the individual, but also the workforce as a whole and subsequently clients.
From a financial point of view the costs of medical treatment, loss of workforce and potential compensation claims can be huge, whilst from a personnel viewpoint, immediate loss of staff can have a real impact on clients and workloads, impacting on the morale and productivity of the rest of the team.
In the past one of the few ways an organisation could minimise manual handling accidents was through training, as there was very little equipment available to assist – but this is all set to change.
Products such as the Mobile Area Logistics Platform (MALP), designed and produced by SigAssure UK, aim to help engineers work safely.
The MALP, produced specifically for use in the rail sector, is a low level transportation platform designed for use on all track gauges.
It provides operators with a lightweight, portable and easy-to-use device ideal for the simple transportation of tools, equipment and materials.
Whilst previously such items would have been transported manually, the MALP platform can carry up to 50kg – thus allowing engineers to let the equipment take the strain, rather than putting themselves at risk of injury caused by improper lifting or carrying techniques.
A workforce is a company’s most valuable asset. Helping protect them is key to the ongoing success of any organisation.
When considering manual handling concerns, utilising innovative products such as the MALP, combined with traditional training solutions, helps ensure that engineers have the best base from which to maintain a safe working environment.