Manual Handling

Manual handling is any manual transportation of a load by one or more workers, this includes lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying and moving a load that has the potential to cause injury. As employers you are required to protect your employees from risks associated with manual handling.

The following sections detail a number of areas from good manual handling techniques to legal requirements and control of manual handling hazards.


Manual Handling in workplaces is regulated by a number of acts and regulations, the most significant of those being:

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, Part 2, Chapter 4: Manual Handling

Employer Responsibilities

As employers you are required to:

  • Assess all manual handling risks and introduced the necessary controls and preventative measures for eliminating and reducing risks
  • Reduce risks as much as possible where they can not be eliminated
  • Provide information and training to employees regarding manual handling of loads
  • Provide mechanical aids for lifting (as identified by your risk assessment)
  • Provide arrangements for accident and incident reporting
  • Take personal factors of employees (health problems, previous injuries, pregnancy, etc.) into account when planning manual handling tasks
  • Provide the general weight of each load, where possible

Employee Responsibilities

Employees also have duties, you need to:

  • Take reasonable care when handling loads
  • Co-operate with your employers health and safety rules and procedures
  • Make full and proper use of mechanical aids provided
  • Report anything action that may cause harm or any defects in your lifting equipment
  • Report any accidents or incidents to your employer immediately

Do not engage in any unsafe behaviour that may put yourself or others at risk!

Page updated: 12/05/2015

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