Barrel hoists are an essential piece of kit for lifting or lowering barrels in public houses, restaurants and nightclubs. Most beer barrels are stored in cellars in the basement of the establishment. Loading and unloading the barrels require a lot of heavy lifting and manoeuvring which causes injury to staff. Using barrel hoists to do the heavy work reduces injury and staff absence due to back problems.
Back pain causes over 12 million work days to be lost each year. This has a financial impact on both staff and employers. People on zero-hours contract are not paid during their absence, those with contracts require sickness pay and employers have to recruit cover staff. Many incidents of back pain are as a result of work-related injuries.
Government legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment 1998 go some way to protect employees from incurring skeletal damage at work. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the health and safety of staff is a priority in the workplace. They accomplish this by having a good health and safety policy, staff training and labour saving equipment.
Back pain affects 1 in 10 people and is increasingly becoming the main cause of disability. People become more prone to back pain as they get older which doesn’t bode well as this age range is increasing. The cost of back pain due to workplace injuries is an eye-watering £15 billion. With the bulk of it (£8.6 billion) falling on the individual while employers and the government have to pay out £3 billion and £3.4 billion respectively.
Lower back pain is a debilitating condition that lowers the quality of life of most sufferers. It is not generally due to a particular disease and bad posture, bending and lifting heavy objects incorrectly are the main causes. Most jobs cause people to have back pain if they do not move their body’s correctly. The most common jobs that cause the condition are construction workers, nurses/carers, warehouse workers and dentists. Even people who work on computers a lot are likely to suffer back pain if they have bad posture.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued guidelines on how to prevent back pain in the workplace and how to help employees suffering from it. Most of the advice involves making provision to make physically demanding jobs easier, asking about staff wellbeing, conducting risk assessments and training for staff. A company who looks after their staffs back and knees is likely to operate smoothly with fewer interruptions.
Beer barrels are very heavy and an awkward shape. They even sound heavy when they are being transferred from the lorry to the cellar. Barrels are stored below ground where all of the pipes and connectors are located. Getting the barrels into storage is heavy and physically demanding work. Barrel hoists lower the barrels into the cellar reducing the amount of bending and stretching by employees. They are simple in design and only require a single 240V supply.
Using barrel hoists reduces the number of work-related injuries and demonstrates that employers are looking after their staff well being. All barrel hoists are built to individual specifications and meet the current European Directive 90/269/EEC for Health & Safety for the manual handling of loads.
If you would like to find out more about barrel hoists contact us and we would be happy to offer advice.