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​Manual Handling


Every year many are injured in the handling and carrying of goods. Do not attempt to lift a load which is excessively heavy or bulky. Unless the load is well within your personal capability, mechanical lifting equipment should be used.

In manual handling, it is the leg muscles that should be used and never the back. Do not twist the body in picking up or setting down a load and it is important not to overreach. Face the load squarely and lift so as to ensure an even distribution on the feet.


 The Dos and Don'ts of Lifting and Carrying


  • DO size up the job first and if it is too big to carry alone get help from a colleague or lifting equipment.
  • DO use mechanical devices such as hoists, cranes or forklift trucks wherever possible.
  • DO wear protective clothing if necessary. Protective gloves will prevent cuts and abrasions while protective footwear can prevent a crushed foot (although in a situation where protective footwear might be necessary, consideration must be given to mechanical assistance). 
  • DON'T carry so much that you cannot see where you are going. This is particularly important in carrying large empty containers or stationery. 
  • DON'T jerk at a heavy load. This is more likely to strain an arm, shoulder or back than shift the load.  
  • DON'T keep trying to lift a load which you know is too heavy for you.
  • DON'T change grip while carrying. Rest the load in a firm support then change.

Download a Manual Handling Checklist

Manual Handling Training


Specialised Lifting and Moving classes should be attended by staff who carry out any type of manual handling.  See Events Section for further details on courses or HR Connect.

e-Learning (Essential Skillz​)

 Manual Handling module

See also:

Health & Safety Executive website​

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