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Why we decided to offer bespoke manual handling training

19 December 2018 | by Neil Pulham

A little while ago, NTS developed a bespoke manual handling course for a client in the archaeology industry. I’ve now delivered it ten times with a view to training all 280 of their staff!

The client came to us with a specific need for manual handling training. Having researched the market, they simply couldn’t find anything that was designed specifically for their industry. This prompted us to sit down with them and really get under the skin of their business and its training requirements. As a result, we’ve developed a great relationship with the client and they’ve helped us create a manual handling course for that industry which can be undertaken by other businesses with similar needs.


We’ve long offered clients the ability to have courses tailored specifically for them - particularly if the courses are being undertaken in-house. This client was a perfect example. Due to the nature of their work and the equipment they use (they’re not just lifting boxes) a standard manual handling training course isn’t entirely relevant.


The process we went through to develop their bespoke course was very thorough. We met with key stakeholders and worked alongside their health and safety manager to review the specific equipment they were using. We also worked closely with one of my colleagues and fellow trainers, Connor Salter, who is a chiropractor and consequently has some fantastic contacts in physiotherapy.


This enabled us to create a course that is relevant to the tools the client uses and the environment in which they work, but because they also have quite a high attrition rate, we incorporated health aspects into the training, too. This included exercises for warming up and down before and after shifts, some general stretching exercises to assist those with back problems and the things people can do in their personal lives to aid the recovery process and help them become healthier.


I’m not that surprised they struggled to find manual handling training that worked for their industry - training companies are often restricted by the criteria set out by government and accreditation bodies. We’re a little different, thanks to our accreditation with City & Guilds and the close working relationship we have with them; it enables us to customise courses to achieve what’s required for each client. Our network of trainers and advisors who have experience across a vast range of industries also helps significantly in this regard.


I think there’s a number of sectors and businesses that would benefit from bespoke manual handling training. The recommendation that’s emerging from the Health & Safety Executive is to look at the training you’re receiving and assess whether or not it’s completely relevant. Sometimes, it isn’t, and manual handling is a great example of where the training you require isn’t just about lifting boxes. Lifestyles, health conditions and the countless things we do every day that result in us twisting, turning and pulling, all need to be taken into account during training of this kind.


In our standard manual handling course, we look at the basic physical activities people undertake and ask them to consider not just the things they do at work, but what they do at home, too. It’s always a fascinating exercise and most people soon realise they do an awful lot more manual handling at home than they do at work.


There are so many elements that can affect manual handling, which is why it’s such a good idea to look at a bespoke training session. Everything from the environment to the ages and lifestyles of your workforce need to be taken into account.


If you’re interested in working with us to develop bespoke manual handling training for your business or industry, we’d love to hear from you. We’ll start by getting to know more about your business, the equipment it relies on, the environment within which your staff operate and the demographics of the workforce. Following a period of research, we’ll put a draft course together for you and develop it with you from there. We can even incorporate unique imagery and photography from your business within the training material so that it’s as relevant as possible for trainees.


Your workforce are more likely to engage with a bespoke manual handling training course, so get in touch today, and let’s work together to create training that is uniquely tuned for your business!

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