3. Manual Handling Training

For workers whose job involves a lot of manual handling e.g. warehouse operatives, construction workers, furniture removal staff, delivery drivers etc, face-to-face training is the preferred option.  Online and in-house training is usually adequate for those in lower-risk occupations where manual handling is not common practice.

As with any type of training, the person responsible for organising it must carry out “due diligence” on the trainer, using an approved supplier (if the company/organisation operates an approved supplier list) or by checking the qualifications and insurance of the trainer to be engaged.

Contents of the Training

Manual handling training must, as a minimum, cover the following:

  • How to plan a lift
  • Correct lifting techniques
  • Correct carrying techniques
  • Assessing capability
  • Load reduction
  • Environmental considerations
  • PPE
  • A practical element – putting the techniques learnt into practice

Health and Safety Myth

Manual handling, used as an excuse not to spend money

A HR Manager for an office based company refuses to buy weights for a gym with the excuse that it is health and safety that is preventing her from buying them.  Users could suffer injury and then be unable to work, or would blame the company.

Health and safety at work legislation does not prohibit the provision or use of weights in a workplace gym.  The company may have other reasons not to provide them, but they should explain the real reason to employees, rather than use 'health and safety' as an excuse.  Management should clarify the position and find a solution.  It is particularly sad that provision of facilities which should improve the health and well-being of staff is being marred on health and safety grounds.