The Safety Business

Case Study –  Manual Handling in a Confined Space IT Team



The company had an IT team who were complaining of fatigue and back pain as a result of adopting poor posture when working the server room. The server room although brightly lit and well ventilated the space between the server boxes was very narrow and with the boxes stacked from floor to head height.

The team were all different shapes and sizes and often struggled when working on the computer components in cramped conditions.

Routine maintenance and repair work meant that the box had to be removed from its position and held up in the air by a team member whilst a second member of the team worked on it. This was an obvious struggle to both individuals to say nothing of the serious physical injury implications in addition to the cost of any damage that would be caused if a box was dropped and damaged.

Expansion of the space was not an option due to limited office space and lack of funds coupled with the massive upheaval it would bring to the organisation.

The company called us in to look at the manual handling operations on behalf of the team as they were keen to find an urgent solution to this serious problem.

We talked the problems through with the team to get a better understanding of the way in which they worked.  We were advised that the boxes need to be held up in position often for long periods or the cables would be wrenched from the sockets. Sliding mechanisms affixed onto shelves were also not an option due to the design of the server systems.

Our advice

We carried out a comprehensive Manual Handling Risk Assessment and our advice was not only simple but cheaper than re designing the entire workspace and reduced work time that was being lost.

We advised the client to mechanise the process and recommended that our client to purchase a mini lifter from

This is a lightweight easy to operate narrow lightweight stacker with adjustable forks and fitted with a hand winch fitted at waist height to prevent stooping and bending. The narrow design makes it easy to use in narrow workspaces such as a server room and would allow the job to be carried out by one IT technician rather than two.

Call us on  0207 724 4038  or email us at to find out how we can help you with workplace health and safety.

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