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Genilogic

Risk Assessment of pushing and pulling (RAPP) Tool

CRAMS is pleased to make available this free online Risk Assessment of pushing and pulling (RAPP) Tool, which is based on the tool designed and provided by the Health and Safety Executive.

This tool is designed to help assess the key risks in manual pushing and pulling operations involving whole-body effort, e.g. moving loaded trolleys or roll cages, or dragging, hauling, sliding or rolling loads. It is aimed at those responsible for health and safety in workplaces and will help you to identify high-risk pushing and pulling activities and check the effectiveness of any risk-reduction measures.

The CRAMS RAPP tool has been designed to simplify the process of scoring a task for Manual Handling risks and it will automatically create a score sheet for you to print or send to colleagues. It is intended to be used alongside the Manual handling assessment charts (the MAC Tool). You may still need to undertake a full Manual Handling Risk Assessment - to help you decide, the HSE has published a checklist. CRAMS can help you build and maintain all your Risk Assessments, Method Statements and Training Records.

The tool is not appropriate for assessing pushing and/or pulling operations involving:

■ just the upper limbs, e.g. pushing buttons/knobs, pulling levers or moving loads which are on a conveyor (see Upper limb disorders in the workplace HSG60 );

■ just the lower limbs, e.g. pushing on pedals, or with the feet;

■ powered handling equipment.

Use of the tool may not comprise a full risk assessment. HSE’s guidance booklet L23 Manual handling. Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992: Guidance on Regulations contains more information on conducting full risk assessments. Always consider individual and psychosocial issues when completing the RAPP score sheet.

How to complete an assessment

■ Spend some time observing the workers and the work activity to ensure that what you are seeing is representative of normal working practice. Always consider the ‘worst-case scenario’.

■ Consult employees and safety representatives during the assessment process. Where several people do the same activity, make sure you get the views of workers about the demands of the operation.

■ Select the appropriate assessment (ie pushing and pulling wheeled equipment or pushing and pulling items without wheels). If both types occur, consider them separately.

Ensure you read the assessment guide before you make your assessment.

■ Determine the level of risk for each risk factor. The levels of risk are:

■The total scores help prioritise those activities/operations that need most urgent attention and help check the effectiveness of any risk-reduction measures. The colour bands help determine which risk factors of the operation require attention.

■The scores can be used for comparison purposes but the total scores do not relate to specific action levels.

Where tasks require attention, first look for solutions where it is reasonably practicable to eliminate the hazard, for example through redesign of the work or automation of the task. Where these measures are not practicable, identify how tasks might be improved to avoid or reduce those factors that score red. Then consider how to reduce the amber scores.

Identify the type of equipment used – small, medium or large. If different types of equipment are used to move loads, do an assessment for each type. Click on the most appropriate image below to select:

■ Identify the work activity. If two or more activities are performed (eg rolling and churning), do an assessment for each type of activity. ■ Find out the weight of the load moved (from any labelling provided, by asking the workers or by weighing). ■ If two or more loads are moved at a time, assess the total weight moved. ■ If you are moving different loads, assess the heaviest load. ■ The illustrations in each section are only a guide to help you – they are not comprehensive.

Observe the general positions of the hands and the body during the operation.

Observe how the hand(s) grip or contact the equipment during pushing or pulling. If the operation involves both pushing and pulling, assess the hand grip for both actions.

Observe the work, noting whether the operation is repetitive (five or more transfers per minute) and whether the worker sets the pace of work. Ask workers about their pattern of breaks and other opportunities to rest or recover from the work.

Determine the distance from start to finish for a single trip.
■ If the operation is not repetitive, do an assessment for the longest trip.
■ If the operation is repetitive, determine the average distance for at least five trips.

Enquire about the maintenance programme and observe the general state of repair of the equipment (condition of the wheels, bearings and brakes).

Identify the condition of the surfaces along the route and determine the level of risk using the following criteria.

Check the route for obstacles. Note if the equipment is moved over trailing cables, across raised edges, up or down steep ramps (gradient of more than 5°), up or down steps, through closed/narrow doors, screens or confined spaces, around bends and corners or objects. Each type of obstacle should only be counted once no matter how many times it occurs.

Identify any other factors, for example:
■ the equipment or load is unstable;
■ the load is large and obstructs the worker’s view of where they are moving;
■ the equipment or load is sharp, hot or otherwise potentially damaging to touch;
■ there are poor lighting conditions;
■ there are extreme hot or cold temperatures or high humidity;
■ there are gusts of wind or other strong air movements;
■ personal protective equipment or clothing makes using the equipment more difficult.

Observe the general positions of the hands and the body during the operation.

Observe how the hand(s) grip or contact the load during pushing or pulling. If the operation involves both pushing and pulling, assess the hand grip for both actions.

Observe the work, noting whether the operation is repetitive (five or more transfers per minute) and whether the worker sets the pace of work. Ask workers about their pattern of breaks and other opportunities to rest or recover from the work.

Determine the distance from start to finish for a single trip.
■ If the operation is not repetitive, do an assessment for the longest trip.
■ If the operation is repetitive, determine the average distance for at least five trips.

Identify the condition of the surfaces along the route and determine the level of risk using the following criteria.

Check the route for obstacles. Note if the load is moved over trailing cables, across raised edges, up or down steep ramps (gradient of more than 5°), up or down steps, through closed/narrow doors, screens or confined spaces, around bends and corners or objects. Each type of obstacle should only be counted once no matter how many times it occurs.

Identify any other factors, for example:
■ the load is unstable;
■ the load is large and obstructs the worker’s view of where they are moving;
■ the load is sharp, hot or otherwise potentially damaging to touch;
■ there are poor lighting conditions;
■ there are extreme hot or cold temperatures or high humidity;
■ there are gusts of wind or other strong air movements;
■ personal protective equipment or clothing makes pushing and pulling more difficult.