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'' The Perils of IHASCO for your Manual Workforce ''
9 minute read
Written by

Osteopathic Solutions Director Gareth Milner

Why read this Blog post?

If you are paying a lot of money out of your Health & Safety Training Budget for training your Workforce with IHASCO’s Online Manual Handling Training Programme or that is past tense and it is paid or if the future looks like you will use IHASCO then this is a MUST read.

Firstly let’s define the word Budget …

Noun … '' an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time ''

Verb … '' allow or provide a particular amount of money in a budget ''

Before we look at The Perils of IHASCO for your Manual Workforce ... a little anecdote. I will set the scene. The year is 1985. My Mum Carol leads me up our mauve carpeted staircase excited to show me the new wallpaper in my little box of a bedroom. She walks me down the corridor as I anticipate the splendour of the decoration. She stoops over me, smiling and points to the wall saying ‘Look Gareth …. doesn’t your room look great!’ I stand there, as aghast as a 4 year old little boy can be, and immediately burst into tears exclaiming … ‘Mum, look! The alarm clocks are upside down!’. My Mum, most likely hoping I wouldn’t notice, declares with sympathetic conviction ‘We’ll fix it Gareth, don’t worry. The Decorator will come back’.

Ok so what happened here? The Family Procurement Manager … my Mum … sourced Ivan 'The Decorator' who appeared to be an Expert. He smelt of paint. He was covered in paint. He had a van. And he carried a ladder on his shoulder. So Ivan, the Jack of All Trades returned rather embarrassed that a 4 year old ‘Boss Baby’ had noticed his shoddy work. All’s well that ended well and the Alarm Clocks on the wallpaper were returned to the northern hemisphere from the southern.

The word negligent, it’s quite a strong word isn’t it? It is defined as … failing to take proper care over something.

Let’s get stuck into the IHASCO Manual Handling Training Online Programme. 

As a Qualified Osteopath from the European School of Osteopathy, having read (both at Undergraduate level and Postgraduate level) many Biomechanics texts including the very best in the subject ‘Joint Structure & Function’ by Levangie & Norkin, this critique of the IHASCO programme is founded on Expert Technical knowledge about human biomechanics and the musculoskeletal system.

There are simply some subjects, that need Qualified Professionals providing the Training or Service. Let’s look at a few examples. Your car breaks down on the motorway. Who would you first be calling … the AA … or someone you know who tinkers with cars for a hobbie? Your coronary artery is blocked (God forbid). Who would you want to operate … a Cardiac Surgeon … or your local Butcher? Please afford me one more. You are investing £300,000 on building the house of your dreams. Would you want a small Construction Company with over 40 years in business who have been recommended to you by many people you trust … or a local lad straight out of College. Right, you get me.

IHASCO list 140 Courses from Anger Management to Menopause Awareness to Delivering Bad News Training et cetera. Many, I would say we could all have a good stab at writing ourselves. Regarding Manual Handling Training I ask you this question … What is it trying to prevent? And you would say to me ‘Well, back injuries at work’ and I would say ‘Yes mainly, but musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)’. Another question. 'What Professions are qualified in MSDs and their Clinical Examination and Therapeutic Treatment?' Your answer ‘Well, Orthopaedic Doctors and Surgeons, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors …’ ‘Andddd?’ I say, and you reply 'Oh sorry Gareth, your profession, Osteopaths’.

Before I delve into the negligence of IHASCO’s Online Manual Handling Programme here are some of the statements they make about the programme …

‘What makes our Manual Handling Training the best around?’

‘This online manual handling training course will teach you all you need to know about safe manual handling.

Correct manual handling is so important to everyday health, especially if you’re regularly lifting.’


When you make statements like ‘We or I am the best around’ you have to back it up. If it’s Manchester City (sorry Man U fans) they can say they’re the best around … ‘We won the treble.’ If it’s Golfer Scottie Schaefler … ‘I am World Number 1.’

What’s the first word that comes into your head after you think ‘Manual Handling’? Lifting right. And what is the most common Manual Handling Accident from. Lifting right. Let’s now look at why this Online Programme, so heavily purchased around the UK, is negligent when it comes to correct manual handling’.

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As you will see on their Programme Explainer Video (at 28 seconds via this link) the woman lowers the box (pictured above right) with the following body use and position:

  • Feet at best slightly wider than hip width apart

  • Both knees are fully flexed

  • Left foot planted fully on the floor

  • Right foot heel off the floor

  • Right foot toe joints (specifically Metatarsophalangeal joints) hyper extended

  • Back straight but no longer upright

  • Inanimate load (the box) relatively far from body’s Centre of Gravity (located in the pelvis)

I hear you asking ‘So what Gareth. What does this all mean?’ 


‘It means devastating negative effects on the musculoskeletal system, especially to the lower extremity (leg) joints.’

Both knees are fully flexed. Fully flex your knee joints, do this over many years, with heavy inanimate loads and watch your knee cartilage disappear. The knee ligaments will be considerably weakened also. Once you reach your early 40s there would be a high probability of chronic knee pain and your 50s, early onset Osteoarthritis.


Right foot heel off the floor & Right foot toe joints hyper extended. Gary Lineker (now Match of the Day Presenter and The Face of Walkers Crisps) retired from professional football at the young age of 33 years old. Why? His bad toe. I personally am suffering from this particular injury, a Bunion, and very soon will have my foot operated on to realign the joint. My ‘Bunion’ has come about due to inherited ‘flat foot’ biomechanics. Gary’s was clearly running around too much. Your employees (after taking this IHASCO Course) will suffer the same toe fate. You can find out more about the signs and symptoms of a Bunion via this link.


Back straight but no longer upright. You’re thinking ‘but that’s correct?!’ The problem here is the instability caused by the feet being at best slightly wider than hip width apart, both knees are fully flexed, right foot heel off the floor. The spinal positioning is good, however the lower back muscles (lumbar erector spinae) are working at 4000 revs, which will cause extremely painful back muscle spasms. As a practising Osteopath, (generally) men in manual jobs would consult me with volatile back spasms. It would take 5-6 Consultations of Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy coupled with a daily rehabilitation programme and rest to take them in 4-5 weeks from ‘hobbling into your clinic’ to ‘just a mild ache now Gareth’. That’s 4-5 weeks with the very best Clinical Treatment. Well I can say that, I was educated over 4 years at the European School of Osteopathy. Without this, these back spasms can drift into a couple of months, maybe more, of time off of work.

Inanimate load relatively far from body’s Centre of Gravity. As her feet are too narrowly spread apart. This again adds to the increased workload on the lower back muscles, as well as more compressional forces on the knee cartilage and more ligament/ joint strain on the right first toe joint.


So what does this all mean? With IHASCO’s Online Manual Handling Programme you:

1). Have ticked the compliant with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations box

2). Spent a shed load of your Health & Safety Training budget paying per User fees

3). Increased the chances of your Business suffering Injury at Work Claims from debilitating knee injuries

4). Increased the chances of your Business suffering Injury at Work Claims from debilitating foot injuries

5). Increased the chances of Back Muscle Spasms which can easily lead to 6 weeks of Lost Time Accidents

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After reading this, you may be saying ‘We have seen good results from this Online Manual Handling Training Programme’. My response, any Manual Handling Training Programme whether face to face, or by Video, or by an Online Programme will raise awareness of hazardous practices, and with that should reduce MSDs, Lost Time Accidents and Injury at Work Claims.

I hope you see this Blog post in the light it should be taken, professionally informative, and NOT that I am ‘internet trolling’. Training Companies that present negligent information do NOT deserve your CEO’s hard earnt money, and in what we see from IHASCO, it is Manual Handing Negligence with a capital N.

Our Solution  ...

Here’s how to lift a load with best ‘Biomechanical Practice’ in these clips from Osteopathic Solutions Manual Handling Training DVD Videos.

Our Digital Manual Handling Training Solutions include our ‘Setting UK Standards’ Manual Handling Training DVD and 15 Minute and 30 Minute Bespoke (to your Business) Manual Handling Training DVD Videos.

If you found this post positively informative, and feel that IHASCO is a lot of money NOT well spent, then read my Blog Post '' IHASCO Exposed - The Truth about their Manual Handling Training '' on our 2024 Blogs page.


And lastly I leave you with why as a Qualified Osteopath, with over 16 years in the Manual Handling Industry, over 13 years at the helm of Osteopathic Solutions Ltd … I am the UK’s Key Person of Influence in this subject. It’s because of my Book Sorry! We’re Closed. LinkedIn connect and message me with FREE AUDIOBOOK and it will be in your inbox within an hour. Here are some of the Book's Tips relevant to this Blog Post that you can listen to and read.

Tip 10 - Recognise Experts from the Jack of All Trades

Tip 11 -
Train as a Bio-Mechanic

TIP 15 - Learn How to Lift Properly

I have written Sorry! We’re Closed for Business Owners who make continual life sacrifices. Those Business Owners who bust a gut to make their Business profitable and positive for all involved.

I have written Sorry! We’re Closed for Health & Safety Professionals who are serious about lifelong learning. Those that want to sincerely help people. Those that have ambition for Professional development and a better salary.

But I have also written this Book to prevent normal people, who work hard in their employment, to go home with a body that doesn’t hurt. To go home with a body that will allow them to play their favourite sports or partake in their most loved hobbies. A lot of the time you need a pain and injury free body for this.

I wrote Sorry! We’re Closed as I have passion to rid the UK of musculoskeletal disorders, not just the ones that hurt a little now and then, but the ones that ruin lives. I should know. I had the misfortune of suffering a serious neck injury at 24 years old which ended my Osteopathy career when it had just started.

Of course Sorry! We’re Closed is a Business Book. However as I have written it with a solid dose of passion; have put my storytelling hat on, both fictional and true to my life; I teach you something new, well actually a lot of new; deliver Jaw-Dropping moments like in Tip 35 ‘Call on Me ... Call on Me!’; permeate with humour whilst delivering repeated Expert content … and with this Sorry! We’re Closed is a Book you can take to read in a coffee shop on a weekend morning (like Giovanni Bruno), at the park, on the plane to your holidays, in the sauna (well, maybe not?) … it is a Book that will entertain, make you laugh and educate at the same time.

Supported by Emma Farrell’s remarkable illustrations, I am confident we have delivered a Business Book, and not forgetting a past-time Book ... that is emotional, novel and memorable. Enjoy the read.’

A message from the Author Gareth Milner

About Gareth Milner
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