A Guide to the Regulations Covering Lifting and Manual Handling in the Workplace

  • Price: £3.60
  • Published: November 2015
  • Type: Business Information Factsheet
  • Format: PDF

Manual handling operations are a major cause of workplace accidents and injuries. Most incidents involve sprains or strains, especially to the back, and can lead to long-term discomfort or disability. As manual handling work is often repetitive, injuries may build up over a long period and it can be impossible to identify a single cause. The resulting loss of working hours means that reducing the risk of injury from manual handling operations will benefit not only employee health, but also business productivity.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (the Regulations) define manual handling as transporting or supporting a load by human effort; this includes lifting, putting down, pushing and pulling a load. Intentional throwing or dropping of an item, and indirect physical operations such as pulling on a rope, are included as long as these are undertaken in order to transport or support loads. A 'load' is any moveable object, for example, a chair, and the definition includes people and animals. Under the Regulations, manual handling operations must be avoided if reasonably practical. If not, a risk assessment must be carried out, and the risk of injury reduced.

This factsheet explains the requirements of the Regulations and provides information about how to comply with them.

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