To complete a moving and handling risk assessment you need to fully understand how moving and handling differs from manual handling. Moving and handling refers to the manual handling of people. Like manual handling, moving and handling is concerned with the physical movement of inanimate objects and loads, either by lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing or pulling. But, it also takes into account the individual you are moving, and prioritises their dignity. By considering moving and handling in a person-centred manner you will enhance their experience. Vitally, individuals should feel comfortable, safe and reassured that you have considered – and taken steps to reduce – the risks involved in moving and handling them.
Why moving and handling needs a different approach
Moving and handling is more complex than manual handling as it involves moving people rather than inanimate objects. If your day consists of moving and handling people, you not only have to consider your own comfort and safety but also that of the person you are moving, whilst also protecting their dignity.
The management of risk should always begin at the top of any organisation with a clear statement of policy. Key elements include:
- recognition of the risks
- putting precautions in place, to reduce risk
- clear roles and responsibilities
- employee expectations
- training and providing / maintaining equipment
- monitoring compliance
- support for anyone injured in connection with their work
Employers must reduce the risk of injury to staff and people by:
- avoiding those manual handling tasks that could result in injury, where reasonably practicable
- assessing the risks from moving and handling
- putting measures in place to reduce the risk, where reasonably practicable
- follow appropriate systems of work and use the equipment provided
- co-operate with employers and notifying them of any problems
- take reasonable care to ensure that their actions do not put themselves or others at risk
Carrying out a risk assessment
A moving and handling risk assessment will assist you to identify where accidents could happen and reduce ways this could happen. The person carrying out the assessments must be competent to identify and address the risks and this requires training.
Identifying the risk
Activities that may involve risk may include:
- Transferring people
- Assisting with treatment
- assisting people with specific needs to bathe, eat, move etc
Usually, identifying the risks will involve two two types of assessment:
- Generic assessments – this considers the setting:
- How will moving and handling occur?
- How often will it happen?
- Equipment required?
- Staff required?
- What is the environment?
- What would be required in emergencies?
- Individual assessments – this considers the specific moving and handling needs of the individual. This assessment should be person-centred. Wherever possible it should always include the individual or their family.
Monitoring and review
Risk assessments should be reviewed periodically and whenever circumstances change to ensure they remain current.
There should also be arrangements in place to ensure that moving and handling activities are monitored to ensure that correct procedures, techniques and equipment are being used.
Engage in Learning Moving and Handling Training
Our Moving and handling eLearning package incorporates everything you need to know. It is designed to raise awareness of the issues and best practice associated with moving and handling people.