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Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

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Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992


The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, effective from 1993, were enacted under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They complement the general provisions of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and reinforce employer responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act.


The primary aim of these regulations is to assist employers, managers, employees, and safety representatives in controlling and mitigating the risk of injury resulting from manual handling.


These regulations encompass all manual handling activities involving the transportation or support of loads, such as lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying, or moving loads. Loads can vary from boxes or trolleys to individuals or animals.

The risks associated with manual handling are prevalent across diverse workplace environments, including laboratories, farms, construction sites, warehouses, playgroups, offices, and retail outlets.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers are mandated to:

  • Avoidance: Minimise the need for hazardous manual handling to the extent reasonably practicable.
  • Risk Assessment: Conduct a thorough risk assessment of any hazardous manual handling that cannot be avoided.
  • Risk Reduction: Mitigate the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling to the extent reasonably practicable, which may involve using lifting aids such as hoists or sack trolleys.

Manual handling risks should be integrated into the overall health and safety risk assessment of the organisation. When workplace situations or processes change, the risk assessment should be reviewed, and new measures should be implemented to control emerging risks.

Responsibilities of Self-Employed Individuals

Self-employed individuals are primarily responsible for their safety during manual handling tasks and should adopt measures to protect themselves similar to those required of employers for their employees. However, in situations where a self-employed person works under the control and direction of another employer, the latter may assume responsibility for the former's health and safety.

Employee Rights

Employees are entitled to:

  • Information: Receive comprehensive information about the loads they handle.
  • Training: Undergo appropriate training in manual handling procedures.
  • PPE: Be provided with suitable personal protective equipment as necessary.