Manual Handling at work

This page is about the practice of manually handling INANIMATE objects – so whilst many of the basic principles apply to the moving and lifting of people, you need to discuss your training needs for that with clinically trained personnel – OTs, School Nurses, etc.

Everyone carries out some form of manual handling at some stage in their working life. These tasks or activities must be assessed and employers need to ensure that employees are doing it safely.

In 2017 a Labour Force Survey showed that the rate of self reported work-related musculoskeletal disorders showed a downward trend which is good news, but there are still half a million people each year who are affected by these types of injuries.

Manual handling, awkward or tiring positions and keyboard work or repetitive action are estimated to be the main causes of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

The documents on this page will assist you to risk assess all manual handling tasks.  Please read the guidance document specifically for schools before anything else (CALLED MANUAL HANDLING GUIDANCE FOR SUFFOLK SCHOOLS – PLEASE READ FIRST) and then refer to all the HSE documents as necessary.

Face to face training is available but is sporadic due to the trainers’ time capacity.   Nina is available for short drop in visits and basic advice if needed until the training is available.

HSE guidance on back pain can be found at: and general musculoskeletal disorders at:

The NHS gives advice on back pain here:

Any queries please contact Nina at [email protected]

Aids to lifting – HSE guide

Body mapping questionnaire for employers and employees

Checklists for manual handling full assessment

Manual Handling at Work – Corporate SCC guidance

Manual Handling guidance for Suffolk Schools – PLEASE READ FIRST

Risk Assessment Worksheets

Risk filter tool – HSE guidance

The ART tool – HSE document

The MAC Tool – HSE document

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations – A brief guide – HSE document

The RAPP tool – HSE document

Work related upper limb disorders – WRULD – HSE guidance