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Q: We don’t see any suitable off-the-shelf Manual Handling DVDs for our industry, and would consider producing our own video. What do you recommend?

Health & Safety Adviser
Industrial Group
North West

A: Many workforces use DVD to train in manual handling, but we still see back injuries still occur.

This suggests that although the training is received, it isn’t being applied in practice. People ignore the rules. Why is this?

Stepping back to look at manual handling DVDs, very few of them explain physiologically what actually happens when an individuals lifts a load.

I think this is a serious omission.

Try this for an alternative idea:

We see a person ready to perform a lift.

Superimposed is a graphic of their spine.

We see the vertebrae.

As the person moves forward to lift, we see the spine move with them (we call this production technique “motion tracking”)

As the bend their knees to lift we see the 2D graphic spine follow their movements.

It’s like we have a “view inside their body”.

As the person takes the strain, we zoom up close to see the vertebrae, and the nucleus pulposa – the jam donut – between the individual spines.

We can see how soft and vulnerable this “jam donut” is.

We repeat this demonstration with a poorly performed lift, and we see how the jam donut bursts.

In other words, we see how a slipped disc occurs.

I think this approach of showing people exactly what happens to their spines when they lift improperly will make a difference.

There are lots of manual handling videos about that explain how to perform a lift correctly, often followed by back accident victims speaking to camera about how they’re confined to a wheelchair, or saying what incapacitated lives they now lead since they injured their back. Which is all emotional stuff.

But this doesn’t replace the knowledge of knowing and seeing exactly what happens to the spine when a lift takes place.

Add to this the fact that with today’s graphics technology, what might have cost a fortune years ago, is now possible within a corporate budget.

Obviously there’s more to a manual handling video than explaining in graphic visual detail how the spine works when it takes the strain of a load. But I believe that a fundamental explanation of this nature is long overdue, and necessary.

To get people to conform to good lifting practice they need to know exactly what they’re doing to themselves when they lift, and 2D graphics with motion tracking will demonstrate this precisely.

It’ll help make a manual handling DVD that really works, that really helps bring down the accident rate.

You can view samples of our training DVDs here 

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