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Policies, Procedures & Guidance

Manual Handling

Manual handling covers a wide variety of activities including lifting, lowering pushing, pulling and carrying. If not done correctly it can result in work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Manual Handling Operations are defined by the Health and Safety Executive as 'any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force.' A load can be an object or person.

Manual Handling can cause musculoskeletal injuries, which account for a third of all workplace injuries in the UK.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 cover manual handling activities at work. The key points to consider are:

  • Avoid - the need for manual handling as far as is reasonably practicable
  • Assess - the risk of injury from any manual handling activity that can't be avoided; and
  • Reduce - the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable

Manual Handling Risk Assessment 

Manual Handling operations which involve a significant risk of injury should be avoided so far as is reasonably practicable.
Where Manual Handling operations involving a risk of injury cannot be avoided, a risk assessment should be completed. The choice of template to be used to do this is dependant on the level of risk. Our procedure outlines the decision-making process on how to risk assess the activity. 

Find out more about Manual Handling and Guidance on the HSE website:

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