When riding with a group of more than eight horses on the road, form into groups, each with a competent guide.
Never ride more than two abreast on the road.
If your horse slips and falls, stay calm and let the horse “find its feet”.
Check that the horse is uninjured before remounting on non-slippery ground.
Avoid riding on the road in foggy conditions or after dark.
Don’t “trickle” over a major crossing.
Always cross in a group when there is more than one rider, and It may be appropriate for one or more of the controllers to dismount and control the road traffic while the ride crosses. 8. Manual tasks Manual tasks are part of nearly all work done in the horse riding schools, trail riding establishments and horse hiring establishments.
The tasks include any activity where workers grasp, manipulate, carry, move (lift, lower, push, pull), hold or restrain a load.
They include a wide range of tasks from lifting and carrying heavy water buckets to helping people mount horses.
Manual tasks represent a significant risk of injury.
Within this industry, manual tasks contribute to musculoskeletal injuries affecting all parts of the body, particularly the back, shoulder and wrist.
These account for half or more of the industries: Cost of worker’s compensation claims Number of days lost from work Absences over six months.
Sprains and strains of backs and limbs are often sustained from manual tasks particularly where lifting is required.
Injuries are commonly linked with ongoing wear and tear to the joints, ligaments, muscles and intervertebral discs.
They are only occasionally caused by a one-off overload situation.
Manual task injuries can result in physical impairment or even permanent disability.
Over a period of time, damage can gradually build up through: Handling of loads – frequent lifting with the back bent or twisted, or pushing/pulling loads with forceful exertions (For example, placing heavy saddles away, manoeuvring horses in a restricted area) Working in a fixed position with the back bent, continuous sitting or standing (For example, riding horses for long periods) Repetitive work with the hand or arm, and having to grip tools or loads tightly (For example, veterinary or healthcare for the horse) Working with the neck, shoulders and arms in a fixed position (For example, using foot care tools).
The loads handled while undertaking manual tasks will vary in size, weight, shape, fragility, stability, etc.
Some may be difficult to grasp.
Others may be sharp.
The best way of handling the load considering the circumstances should be determined.
There are additional complications when handling animals or people in this industry: the load lacks rigidity; there is particular concern on the part of the handler to avoid hurting the person or animal; and to complicate matters, the load will often have a mind of its own.
These factors are likely to increase the risk of injury to the handler compared with handling an inanimate load of similar weight and shape. Horse riding schools, trail riding and horse riding establishments – Code of Practice 2002 Page 21 of 40 Heavy items stored at high or low levels or handling in restricted workspaces need particular attention.
For example, saddle racks placed at high levels may cause problems.
Some saddles are heavy and awkward to lift, and heavy items falling from a height can cause injuries to people.
Uneven and slippery floors can also put extra strain on the handler.
For outdoor workers the extremes of temperature or wind can affect their manual handling capabilities. 8.1 Controlling risks associated with hazardous manual tasks As discussed in section 3, the Act and the Regulation require persons who have health and safety duties to ‘manage risks’ by eliminating health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable.
If elimination is not reasonably practicable, there is a duty to minimise those risks so far as is reasonably practicable.
The How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks Code of Practice provides practical advice on the risk management process including the conducting of a risk assessment for the workplace.
Persons conducting a business or undertaking should consider the following information and examples when working through the risk management process detailed by the How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks Code of Practice.
Persons conducting a business or undertaking should also refer to the Hazardous Manual Tasks Code of Practice which provides detailed information on the management of manual task risks. 8.2 Possible control measures for hazardous manual tasks Redesign the task It should not be assumed that a particular manual handling operation is unavoidable or cannot be changed simply because it has always been the practice.
Many simple changes can minimise the risk of injury including: Use a trolley or wheelbarrow rather than carrying bales of hay. Take the horse to the hay rather than carry it to the animal. Small water buckets could be used to fill large buckets. Use hoses or pipes to reduce the need to carry water buckets. (Take care to ensure the hosepipe is positioned where it does not become a tripping hazard). Select well-designed tools and equipment (for example lighter saddles).
Aids that restrain the horse during manual tasks and assist the task being performed (particularly where they improve the work area design and layout) should be used where possible.
For example, mounting blocks should be used in preference to giving a ‘leg-up’. (Note: helping riders into the saddle is a manual task that presents significant risk in this industry – see section 8.3).
The variation in workers capability (related to age, gender, injury, and health), skills and experience and their physical characteristics can mean that some workers are at increased risk of injury.
Manual tasks should be designed or adapted to suit all workers.
Administrative controls Fatigue increases the likelihood of manual tasks injuries; therefore the number and length of rest or recovery periods are important.organise work to spread manual tasks throughout the working shift.
This allows workers longer recovery periods between the manual activities.
Staffing levels will affect workloads and rest and recovery periods. Horse riding schools, trail riding and horse riding establishments – Code of Practice 2002 Page 22 of 40 Training workers in good lifting, carrying and handling methods is no substitute for other risk control methods such as improving the design of the task.
Training should not be used as the only control solution for problem manual tasks but as an addition to them.
Manual handling methods require both specific training and practice.
Ideally, training should be tailored to the particular manual task operation likely to be undertaken and be carried out where possible on the job or in conditions that are as realistic and relevant as possible. 8.3 Example manual task – “assisting a rider to mount” This task represents significant risk of injury.
A risk assessment indicates that the assistant or handler can assume awkward bending and reaching postures while suddenly taking part weight of the rider (applying forceful exertions to the body).
They may be forced to take full weight of a rider where the rider does not give assistance during the mount.
This further increases the risk of injury.
A design control for this problem manual task would be to use a mounting block where possible.
This eliminates the need to handle altogether, apart from limited support and stabilisation that may be required.
Mounting blocks save the handler from potential injury, and additionally reduce awkward forces on the horse during mounting.
Make sure the block is sturdy and steady, and is placed where it is not a tripping hazard.
Where it is not possible to use a block (for example, out on trail) the handling method should be approached as follows (with training provided): Riders should be asked whether assistance is required and only assisted where necessary. Both the rider and the person assisting the rider stand on the left side of the horse. The person assisting instructs the rider to take most of their weight themselves and not to depend wholly on the person assisting. The rider takes up the reins, normally holding onto some mane, but faces the side of the horse, the right hand on the waist or pommel, left leg bent at the knee. The assistant holds their left hand under the rider’s knee, and the right hand at the rider’s ankle. The rider is further instructed to spring up from their right foot on the agreed signal. On an agreed signal (on the count of three) the rider springs up from the right foot and is assisted high enough to clear the cantle with the right leg and ease into the saddle. To reduce the risk of back injury, the assistant takes care to keep close to the rider, maintains the lower lumbar curve in their back and bends the knees before assisting.
For further information on hazardous manual tasks, see the Hazardous Manual Tasks Code of Practice. 9.
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