Why is Moving and Handling Important?

moving people

Moving and handling is important as it is a significant contributor to sickness absence. Injuries caused due to moving and handling impact on all workplaces and costs the economy hundreds of millions of pounds every year. Every year around 5000 moving and handling injuries are reported in health services. This costs the NHS £1 billion a year.

Moving and handling applies to anyone involved in the moving and handling of goods or people. Injuries and suffering can result from incorrectly or repeatedly handling loads, even if they are light. Risks associated with this are found in all work sectors.

The Law

The relevant legislation covering moving and handling, equipment and risk assessment includes:

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Manual Handling operations Regulations 1992 -amended

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations) 1992

The Provision and Use of Workplace Equipment Regulations 1998

The Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

The law is there to support and protect people in the workplace. And to assist employers, employees and organisations to understand their responsibilities and operate safely.

Employer responsibilities

Your employers are responsible for your work-related health and safety. As part of this they must consider the prevention of accidents and work- related ill health.

Employers have a duty to assess situations and avoid moving and handling activities if there is a risk of injury. If this is not possible, they must explore how the risk of injury can be reduced, as far as reasonably practicable. This extends to everyday discomfort. If an employee has complained of pain, changes must be made to avoid or reduce their moving and handling activities. If, following monitoring, the changes are not working satisfactorily, other alternatives must be considered.

Employee responsibilities

Employees also have responsibilities for their own safety and for the safety of others when carrying out moving and handling activities.

They should:

  • Be reasonably responsible for their own, and their colleagues and clients, health and safety
  • Follow procedure and use equipment correctly
  • Report accidents and hazards appropriately

TILEEO approach to assessment of risk

This assessment method involves considering the following areas which make up the acronym TILEEO:

Task – What does the activity involve? Will it involve twisting, bending, pushing or pulling? Will there be sudden movement, inadequate rest or recovery periods? Does it require more than one person?

Individual – What is the physical condition of the individual? Are they pregnant, disabled, suffering from a health problem? Do they have the strength or height for the activity? Is specialist knowledge or training required?

Load – What is the load? How heavy is it? Are there other factors such as ease of grip, load contents or temperature to consider?

Environment – Where are you moving it to and from? Is it a closed or open space, is it uneven, slippery or unstable? Will it involve different floor levels? Is there adequate lighting? Will it be indoors or outdoors? Are there temperature considerations? Is there enough lighting? Does the weather require particular clothing or gear, does this restrict movement?

Equipment – Has the equipment to be used been assessed? Is it appropriate to support the moving and handling being undertaken? Has correct advice and guidance been given prior to use?

Other Factors – Consider anything else likely that may impact on the take before undertaking it.

Moving and Handling Training

Regular training helps prevent injuries in the workplace. Failure to follow regulations can have serious implications if someone gets injured at work. If not managed this can be costly and difficult to manage – causing time off, inability to carry out roles effectively, emotional distress and in some circumstances legal proceedings.

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.

You can find our Moving and Handling People course here