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Manual Handling – What You Need to Know

10:01, 21/5/2019

Home » News & Knowledge » Manual Handling – What You Need to Know


Work which involves lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying is regulated by The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended). If any of these tasks are not carried out in a proper manner then there is a risk of injury.

The Regulations define ‘Manual Handling’ as “…any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force”. The load/weight lifted can be an object, person or animal. Here is a chart detailing the Manual Handling Regulations’ guidance of weightload for safe levels of manual handling and foreseeable risk:

manual handling

Over a third of all workplace injuries are caused by Manual Handling. These injuries include work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as pain and injuries to arms, legs and joints, and various other repetitive strain injuries. The risk of these workplace injuries is increased by heavy manual labour, awkward postures, repetitive movements of the arms, legs and back or previous/existing injury.

The 1992 Regulations require employers to:

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

As an employee, you have a duty to:

• Follow systems of work in place for your safety;
• Use equipment provided for your safety properly;
• Cooperate with your employer on health and safety matters;
• Inform your employer if you identify hazardous handling activities;
• Take care to make sure that the activities you carry out do not put yourself and others at risk.

The symptoms of repetitive strain injuries caused by Manual Handling develop gradually and range from mild to severe.

The symptoms include, but are not limited to:

• Pain, aching or tenderness;
• Stiffness;
• Throbbing;
• Tingling or numbness;
• Weakness; and
• Cramping

If you feel that you have suffered an injury that has been caused by the operation of lifting and handling heavy loads/weights at work without the relevant training, then you might be able to claim compensation.


If you feel your injuries have been caused as a result of your working practices and wish to enquire about a potential claim, please contact us on 0113 200 9787.

Should you wish to consider further information relating to Manual Handling, please consider the following links from the Government:

Meet the author

Asimah Ali is currently a Paralegal in the Industrial Disease Department. Asimah started working at Oakwood Solicitors in October 2016, shortly after completing the Legal Practice Course in July 20…

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