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Manual Handling Advice – A brief guide for employers

October 29, 2014 featured image

This blog is designed to give advice on Manual handling in the workplace. As an employer, you have a certain degree of responsibility when it comes to protecting your employees from injury. 


Incorrect manual handling is one of the most common causes of injury in the work place. It causes work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) which account for over a third of all workplace injuries.

These types of injuries really can happen to anyone and anywhere people are at work eg, building sites, farms, factories, warehouses, offices, banks, laboratories, the list goes on. Heavy manual labour, awkward postures, manual materials handling, and previous or existing injury are all risk factors in developing MSDs.

These injuries can be avoided with training and awareness. Logic4training now offer an online manual handling course for businesses and individuals. It can be taken in your own time wherever you have access to a computer or tablet and the internet.

A bit of common sense everyone should adhere to…


Regulations require employers to:

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

Employees should:

  • Follow systems of work in place for their safety
  • Use equipment provided for their safety properly
  • Cooperate with their employer on health and safety matters
  • Inform their employer if they identify hazardous handling activities
  • Take care to make sure their activities do not out others at risk

Can Manual Handling be avoided?

Check whether you need to move it at all, for example:

  • Does a large work piece really need to be moved, or can the activity be done safely where the item already is?
  • Can raw materials be delivered directly to their point of use?

Think about mechanisation and using handling aids, for example:

  • A conveyor
  • A pallet truck
  • An electric or hand-powered hoist
  • A lift truck

Obviously with automation or mechanisation you need to be aware of the new hazards they bring. Maintenance is crucial and training is a must for things like lift trucks.

Control the risks in your workplace


Part of managing the health and safety of your business should involve controlling the risks in the workplace. This means thinking about what might cause your employees harm and whether you are doing enough to prevent harm in the first place. This process is known as a risk assessment and is something you are required by law to carry out.

Think about the following:

  • Your workplace activities, processes and the substance used that could injure your employees or harm their health.
  • Ask your employees what they think the hazards are, as they may notice things that are not obvious to you and may have some good ideas on how to control the risks.
  • Check manufacturers’ instructions or data sheets for chemicals and equipment, as they can be very helpful in spelling out the hazards.
  • Some workers may have particular requirements, for example new and young workers, migrant workers, new or expectant mothers, people with disabilities, temp workers, contractors, homeworkers and lone workers may be at particular risk.

Once you have identified the hazards of the work place, you must decide how likely it is to cause harm. Common sense will tell you that risk is a part of everyday life and you’ll never be able to cancel it out completely. Focus on the main risks, prioritise them and do what is necessary to manage them responsibly.

Make a record of your significant findings including:

  • The hazards;
  • How people might be harmed by them;
  • What you have in place to control the risks

Remember: Few workplaces stay the same. You should review what you are doing regularly.


Training your employees with our online system will go a long way to giving them greater awareness of the dangers that poor manual handling poses, as well as covering safe handling techniques, practical solutions to manual handling issues and the use of mechanical aids.

The course looks at:

  • What is manual handling
  • Manual handling regulations
  • Safe handling
  • Learning Safe handling habits
  • Practical Manual Handling solutions


If you would like more information please contact us on 0345 845 7222 or email

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