Policy Statement

It is College Policy to:

  1. Ensure that staff and students are protected from the risk of injury through manual handling.
  2. Eliminate the need for hazardous manual handling where it is reasonably practicable to do so.
  3. Assess and reduce risk of injury arising from manual handling operations that cannot be avoided.
  4. Provide staff and students with appropriate information, instruction and training to achieve the above.

Manual HandlingLegislation

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) require the  College to avoid hazardous manual handling as far as reasonably practicable; assess the risk of injury from any such tasks that cannot be avoided; and introduce measures to reduce the these risks as far as reasonably practicable.


Heads of Departments

Heads of Departments have the responsibility to:

  1. Ensure that adequate local arrangements are in place to achieve compliance with the policy.
  2. Appoint one or more competent persons as manual handling assessors to oversee implementation of the policy*.
  3. Provide the appointed person(s) with the necessary time resources and support to carry out their role effectively.
  4. Ensure appropriate mechanical aids & equipment are available.
  5. Ensure information on Principles of Safe Lifting Practice is provided at induction of all new staff and students.

* A Safety Officer may act as Manual Handling Assessor for a department, but needs to be locally available to assist with risk assessments

Managers and Supervisors

Managers and supervisors have the responsibility to:

  1. Organise work under their control so as to minimise the need for manual handling.
  2. Identify hazardous manual hands tasks.
  3. Ensure that risk assessments of hazardous manual handling tasks are carried out and recorded when appropriate.
  4. Inform the Departmental Manual Handling Assessor of tasks requiring detailed assessment.
  5. Ensure that controls identified as necessary in risk assessments are used.
  6. Ensure staff and students receive information instruction and training appropriate to their likely involvement in manual handling tasks.

Manual Handling Assessors

Manual Handling Assessors are appointed by the Head of Department to assist in the discharge of his/her responsibilities and to adviseManual Handling on local arrangements. They should also work in liaison with the Departmental Safety Officer to help monitor the effectiveness of local health and safety arrangements.

Their main duties include:

  1. Promoting best practice in manual handling.
  2. Maintaining awareness of hazardous manual handling activities within their department.
  3. Assisting managers and supervisors with detailed risk assessments if required.
  4. Assessing departmental needs for instruction or training in manual handling.
  5. Assisting in the investigation of manual handling accidents or near misses.
  6. Assisting with the provision of basic information, instruction and training to staff and students.
  7. Attend training and annual update sessions for manual handling assessors.

Staff and Students

Staff and students are responsible for:

  1. Following guidelines and instruction provided.
  2. Participating in training as required.
  3. Informing their manager/ supervisor, when appropriate, if affected by an illness or injury which may impair their ability to handle loads safely.
  4. Informing their manager/supervisor of any injuries, accidents or near misses resulting from manual handling.
  5. Making use of any equipment provided,  in accordance with their training and instruction.

Safety Director

The Safety Director is responsible for:

  1. Advising on appropriate arrangements for managing manual handling operations.
  2. Organising training for manual handling.
  3. Auditing the management of manual handling in College.
  4. Reviewing the Policy and information produced in support of the policy.


                                                                     Director of Occupational Health

Manual Box

The Director of Occupational Health is responsible for:

  1. Assessing fitness of individuals for manual handling, as necessary.
  2. Facilitating provision of treatment and advising on rehabilitation into work after musculo-skeletal injury.
  3. Assisting with production of guidance on safe manual handling.
  4. Assisting with the provision of training in manual handling.
  5. Advising on ergonomic issues.


Manual Handling Operation. The transport or support of any load by human effort as opposed to mechanical handling by crane, lift, truck etc. This includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving by application of bodily force.
It also includes operations where m echanical assistance is used but human effort is still required to move, steady or position the load.
A load is any discrete moveable object. It includes persons, animals and heavy tools

Hazardous Manual Handling Operation. Any manual handling operation which could cause in jury. The nature of the task, the working environment and the individuals involved need to be taken into consideration, as well as the weight and size of the load.

Competency. For a Manual Handling assessor to be considered competent he / she must have received training in:

  • the conduct and documentation of risk assessment of manual handling tasks.
  • safe manual handling techniques.

An Assessor must be familiar with the College Manual Handling Policy.

Any assessor who has successfully completed the College training course for Manual Handling Assessors, or NEBOSH course may be considered competent.

Assessors need to attend an update session on manual handling in College at least once per year to maintain competency.  

Assessors may need to attend specific courses in use of specialist equipment to achieve competency in use of such equipment, or to train others in its use.