Issues to consider when risk assessing moving and handling?

What issues would you consider when risk assessing moving and handling?

Issues to consider when risk assessing moving and handling are not just physical but also emotional. When done properly, moving and handling can change an individuals life, making the impossible, possible. But if undertaken incorrectly, it can have negative consequences on both you and the individual. Carried out correctly it will reduce musculoskeletal disorders, accidents, and essentially, ensure respect the persons 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.

When carrying out a risk assessment, you need the knowledge and understanding of the legal requirements, to keep you and the people you intend to move and handle, safe. You will identify different risks and explore ways to reduce and control them, to ensure safety of all involved. And you will demonstrate person-centred practice and know when additional support is required.

Why moving people needs a different approach

Moving and handling people is more complex than manual handling as it involves human beings rather than inanimate objects. If your role involves moving and handling people, you not only have to consider your own comfort and safety but also that of the person you are moving, while at the same time, protecting their dignity.

The Law

The Management of health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999,Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, the E.C. Directive 90/269 and the earlier Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 with regard to lifting/manual handling, all apply to all types of load, including people. This laws outlines the employer’s responsibility for providing safe lifting conditions.

Key duties of the 1992 Manual Handling Regulations are:

Employer’s duties

Avoid the need for hazardous Moving and Handling Operations as far as is reasonably practicable

Assess remaining Moving and Handling operations

Reduce the risk of injury so far as is reasonably practicable

Provide Moving and Handling training and equipment as necessary

Employees’ Duty 

Make full and proper use of systems of work provided

Take reasonable care of yourself and others who may be affected by your acts or omissions

Co-operate with employers to ensure that statutory requirements are met

Not to interfere with or miss-use anything provided in the interests of health safety and welfare

How do the Manual Handling Regulations affect you?

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Management of health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, place a legal obligation on employers to protect the health and safety of their employees. 

It requires employers to assess the risks to the health and safety of their employees, in other words, carry out risk assessments.

Alongside these regulations, there is a requirement in the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, that employers must specifically, also carry out a risk assessment on manual handling tasks.

Enforcement of legislation

Safe manual handling is a serious issue. The HSE and local authorities can and do enforce health and safety legislation. They are able to ensure compliance with the law with a range of responses to offences. Serious offences can even lead to prosecution.

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.  

You can find our Moving and Handling People course here