Q&A Session – Roddy McGowan: What exactly is the MAC Tool?

Roddy McGowan – LCE Safety Consultant & Trainer answers your work related health and safety queries as part of our monthly Q&A session.

“What exactly is MAC Tool and its benefit to employer / employees?”

Roddy McGowan:

Incorrect manual handling in the workplace can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs are the most common type of occupational ill health. A lot can be done to prevent them.

The UK HSE developed MAC tool –MAC – Manual Handling Assessment Charts is intended to assist you in assessing the high-risk workplace manual handling activities. The MAC Tool is also approved by the HSA (Health and Safety Authority) in Ireland.

The MAC tool was developed to help identify high-risk workplace manual handling activities and can be used to assess the risks posed by lifting, carrying and team manual handling activities.

For each of these types of handling the MAC tool has a flow chart which leads you, step-by-step, through each risk factor of the manual handling operation, enabling you to evaluate and grade the degree of risk. Each flow chart is supported by an assessment guide which helps you to score the task you are observing.

The MAC tool enables the user to then identify where they should focus to reduce the risk, i.e. the risk factor with the highest score should be addressed first.

The benefits of using the MAC Tool will help to identify high-risk manual handling activities within the workplace and enable the employer to assess possible control measures to reduce the risk (specifically high-level risks). The purpose of the assessment is to identify and then reduce the overall level of risk of the task.

LCE provide practical training on the use of the MAC tool at a company’s premises or you can attend one of our regular public workshops. Please contact LCE for more info on 051 364 344 or email us at info@LCE.ie