Minimal Handling

Policy Statement

This organisation recognises its responsibility to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to provide and maintain working conditions that are safe, healthy and compliant with all statutory requirements and codes of practice. The organisation fully complies with the following legislation:

  1. the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  2. the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  3. the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  4. the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 were the end result of a European directive, issued in 1990, and are firmly based on a “minimal handling” approach to manual handling. Under the Regulations, employers are required to avoid the need for employees to undertake any manual handling operations which involve a risk of their being injured and where such activities cannot be immediately eliminated a “suitable and sufficient assessment” of all such operations is mandatory. Having carried out this assessment, employers must take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

Aim of the Policy

This policy is intended to set out the values, principles and policies underpinning this organisation’s approach to manual handling.

Manual Handling at Work Policy

This organisation recognises its responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to provide and maintain working conditions that are safe, healthy and compliant with all statutory requirements and codes of practice. Employees, service users and contractors are expected to abide by safety rules and to have regard to the safety of others.

The organisation understands manual handling as the transporting or supporting of loads by hand or by bodily force without mechanical help. This includes activities such as lifting, carrying, shoving, pushing, pulling, nudging and sliding heavy objects. It especially covers the lifting or moving of service users by staff.

This organisation is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its staff, so far as is reasonably practicable, and of all other persons who may be affected by our activities, including service users, their visitors and contractors. As all of these manual handling activities obviously carry the risk of injury if they are not performed carefully, then the organisation will take the following steps to ensure that its statutory duties to protect staff and service users are met at all times.

  1. Each employee will be given such information, instruction and training as is necessary to enable safe manual handling.
  2. All processes and systems of work will be designed to take account of manual handling.
  3. All processes and systems of work involving manual handling will be assessed and properly supervised at all times.

Risk Assessments

All potential lifts or manual handling tasks should be fully assessed first using the following process.

  1. A moving and handling risk assessment should be undertaken, by a member of staff who is trained for the purpose, whenever staff are required to help a service user with any manual handling task, as required under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. This should be performed in any new care situation and before the care worker commences work. The results should be included in the risk management plan.
  2. Two people fully trained in safe handling techniques and the equipment to be used should always be involved in the provision of care when the need is identified from the manual handling risk assessment.
  3. Staff should always consider each manual handling task for risk of injury. If the activity involves occasional lifting of small, regular-shaped, lightweight items, the risk can be deemed to be negligible. If however the task involves repeated movement of a heavier item, or one that is an odd, uncomfortable shape, then the risk is increased and should be identified as a potential risk.
  4. If a risk is identified, care staff will next consider whether there is a way to eliminate the need for manual handling altogether. For instance, can equipment be used instead?
  5. If the manual handling task cannot be eliminated completely, the specific risks involved must next be assessed. This is done in a similar way to any other health and safety risk assessment but the assessment does not need to be recorded, provided it is easy to repeat.
  6. Where a specific risk of injury is identified and manual handling is unavoidable, then measures to reduce the risk must be introduced. Examples of these are the use of mechanical aids, changing the task to minimise the risk or altering the working environment to make manual handling less awkward.
  7. Taking into account all of the above the homes risk assessments will follow the criteria of;LoadIndividual




    And be followed by an Action Plan to reduce, eliminate, substitute or guide the risk


Staff should never, in any circumstances, attempt to lift a service user or a weight where they believe that there is a significant risk of injury involved.

The organisation’s policy will, so far as is reasonably practicable, be to:

  1. provide and maintain lifting equipment which is safe and healthy to use
  2. provide the information, instruction, training and supervision required to ensure the health and safety, at work, of employees and others
  3. control and maintain the place of work in a safe condition
  4. in the event of any accident or incident (such as a near-miss) involving injury to anybody on work premises to make a full investigation and to comply with statutory requirements relating to the reporting of such incidents.

Duties of Staff

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 set out an obligation upon employees to make full use of systems of work laid down for their safety in manual handling operations. This is in addition to their obligations under other health and safety legislation including making proper use of equipment provided for their safety. To conform with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, this organisation requires its staff to adopt the following three-stage model.

  1. Staff should avoid hazardous manual handling as far as is reasonably practical.
  2. Where hazardous manual handling cannot be avoided, staff should assess the risk first.
  3. Depending on the result of the assessment, staff should reduce the risk involved to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

The successful implementation of this policy requires total commitment from all employees. Each individual has a legal obligation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety, and for the safety of other people who may be affected by their acts or omissions.

It is also the policy of this organisation that, under s.7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, it is the duty of every employee at work:

  1. to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and those of any other person who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work
  2. as regards any duty or requirement imposed on their employer by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with the employer, so far as is necessary, to enable that duty or requirement to be complied with.
  3. Follow the safe principles of Manual Handling:Stop and think – assess, plan, prepareMaintain good posture

    Bend your knees

    Adopt a balanced stance

    Have a good grip on the load

    Hold the load close to your body

    Move your feet to change direction

In addition, no person in the organisation shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety and welfare in pursuance of any statutory provisions.

Staff injured at work

Manual handling accidents are covered by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)). According to RIDDOR, all manual handling accidents and injuries should be recorded and also reported to the HSE, especially if they result in staff being off work for three days or more or involve faulty equipment. All staff injured at work will be given appropriate support and any staff who have suffered from a manual handling injury encouraged to see their GP as soon as possible.

All staff returning from work after a prolonged absence with a musculo-skeletal injury or disorder will have a return to work plan and an interview which may include health professional input if appropriate.

Staff will be encouraged and supported to come back to work where possible and this may often involve some temporary or longer-term adjustment on the part of the organisation to ensure that they do not suffer a recurrence of their injury.

Any necessary alterations to a member of staff’s job after an accident will be made in line with current Equality Act 2010 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 guidelines.

Lifting equipment

Any manual handling equipment provided will be maintained in a safe condition to use and be subject to regular inspections by the manufacturers. Records of all such equipment and their maintenance schedules are kept in the manager’s office. In this organisation the Homes manager is responsible for ensuring that equipment is maintained adequately.


All staff will be given adequate training and information on manual handling risks and how to avoid them. Such training will focus on specific tasks and equipment as well as on the more general information required to carry out safe manual handling. All staff will be trained to assess whether or not a load is too heavy to carry.

All new staff will be required to read the policy on health and safety and on manual handling as part of their induction process. Existing staff will be offered training covering basic information about health and safety. All staff are expected to attend manual handling refresher training. In addition, all staff will be appropriately trained to perform their duties safely and competently and those staff who need to use specialist equipment will be fully trained and supervised while they are developing their competency.


Signed: _______________________________
Date: _______________________________
Policy review date: _______________________________