The local authority has told me that I must carry out an assessment of the risks involved in carrying objects. Do I have to do this?
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 require you, as an employer, to carry out certain activities, which includes carrying out a risk assessment for the manual handling of loads. You have to try and avoid any handling of objects if it is going to cause an injury and to try to reduce the risk of injury if handling is unavoidable.
When carrying out the risk assessment you need to consider several criteria, such as the size and weight of the object to be moved, the routes that it is to be moved, the stability of the load, whether it has any sharp or abrasive edges and whether it is likely to trap any fingers or toes when putting it down. You should also consider the person who is to do the lifting and whether they have any particular problems which may effect their ability.
There are publications available from the Health & Safety Executive which can help you with risk assessments.