The dos and don’ts of manual handling

The do’s and don’ts of manual handling: Essential safety tips

Posted on 14th Oct, 2016 | By Lorretta Tatham

Manual handling is one of the biggest causes of injury and long-term sickness in the workplace – yet one of the most simplest things to do safely. A lack of training, awareness and consideration while carrying out activities are just some of the reasons behind improper manual handling. In today’s blog, we’re uncovering some of the shocking statistics related to manual handling and advising what to do and what not to do when it comes to lifting and moving objects safely.

Workplace statistics on manual handling

According to the HSE, manual handling causes more than a third of workplace injuries. Common work-related musculoskeletal disorders include pain and injury to arms, legs and joints as well as repetitive strain injury. In 2014-15 there were 169,000 new cases of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and 553,000 total cases. This led to a total of 9.5 million working days lost at work.

Risks and how to minimise them when lifting

manual handling training

Manual handling doesn’t just mean lifting. Safe manual handling practices need to be considered when carrying out any of the following activities:

  • Lifting
  • Lowering
  • Pushing
  • Pulling
  • Carrying

To ensure activities like these don’t cause injury, we recommend you DO:

  • Avoid such activities wherever possible
  • Reduce moving distances wherever possible
  • Think about the activity before completing it – considering whether any handling aids can be used and where the load is to be placed
  • Share lifting equally between employees
  • Have reasonable rest periods between manual handling tasks
  • Undergo training to ensure knowledge of safe manual handling

We also recommend you DON’T:

  • Lift loads that you struggle to manage
  • Move loads up or down stairs
  • Move loads long distances
  • Handle objects in a small working space, which may cause you to twist or stoop

Manual Handling Training at Browns Ladders


The requirement for training and safe manual handling is a legal requirement, covered under the Health & Safety at Work Act and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.

At Browns Safety Services, we offer a Manual Handling Training Course, which can be provided on-site at your location if you’ve got six delegates or more. We also offer open courses throughout the year, ideal for self-employed tradespeople. These courses are held in Heywood, Lancashire and Brighouse, Yorkshire.

The course content covers potential hazards and risks as well as the practical knowledge required for safe lifting and moving. The course runs for less than four hours too – meaning it needn’t interfere with all your day-to-day duties.

For more information about this course or to book your place, contact the Browns Ladders team on 01282 615517.

Manual handling isn’t the only topic covered on our safety courses. One of our other popular offerings is our Working at Height Training Course, which covers everything you need to know about working safely from a height.

Do you have any other tips for safe manual handling? If so, send us a tweet @Brownssafety and share your safety tips with the community.

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