Manual Handling Assessment

What is it and why is it required?

Many employees are required to undertake manual handling operations and activities as part of their appointed duties, ranging from very simple tasks to the lifting of heavy or irregularly shaped objects. Any manual handling activity which requires a person to move, lift or carry objects poses a potential risk for that person, whether it be in respect of the shape, size or weight of an object, or the task itself requiring the person to bend, stoop, stretch, or travel any significant distance. Even then, other factors may need to be taken into consideration for what may normally be seen as the most basic of tasks, in order to take account for any given individual’s own personal physical limitations (e.g. age, medical history, pregnant or nursing mothers, etc).

Legislation, most notably the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, therefore requires employers to fully assess the risks posed to employees and, where reasonably practicable to do so, eliminate those risks entirely, or at the very least, to as low a level as possible. This could include, for example, automating manual handling processes that were previously carried out by hand (i.e. eliminating the risk entirely), or, providing employees with manual handling aids such as hoists, trolleys, etc (i.e. reducing the risks).

What are the benefits?

A manual handling assessment undertaken by a highly-qualified and experienced competent person will:

  • identify all manual handling activities undertaken on site;
  • establish the risks associated with each of the respective manual handling operations undertaken;
  • identify those persons/employees who undertake any manual handling activities;
  • make recommendations as to how risks can, where reasonably practicable to do so, be eliminated; and
  • identify appropriate management controls which are required to suitably and sufficiently manage and control any residual risks which cannot otherwise be eliminated.

Ensuring safe manual handling reduces the risk of accidents, the likelihood of employee absence and potential litigation.

How can the S2 Partnership help?

An S2 health & safety consultant will carry out specific manual handling assessments for bespoke tasks that are carried out by employees to minimise the risk of injury from related tasks. The assessment will take into account:

  • the task;
  • the frequency; and
  • the size/weight/dimensions of the object being moved.

Manual handling assessments can be undertaken to determine all generic manual handling activities undertaken, or, on an individual person/employee basis.

Please contact us for more information.