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The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 originally came into force in 1993 and were made under the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974. They supplement the broad requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and supplement the duties placed on employers under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The aim of the regulations is to help employers, managers, employees and safety representatives to control and reduce the risk of injury from manual handling. These regulations apply to all manual handling activities that involve the transporting, or supporting of loads,  this includes, lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying or moving loads.   The load can be anything, from a box or trolley to a person or animal.  The risks from manual handling can be found in many different types of workplace, from laboratories to farms, construction sites, and warehouses to playgroups, offices and retail outlets.

The regulations require all employers to:

  • Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling so far as is reasonably practicable
  • Make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of any hazardous manual handling that can’t be avoided
  • Reduce the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling as far as is reasonably practicable, this may involve using lifting devices such as hoists or sack trolleys.   

 

The risks associated with manual handling should be part of your organisation’s overall health and safety risk assessment, when situations or work processes change within the workplace the risk assessment should be reviewed and if any new risks are identified during this process, new measures should be put in place to control those risks.

Self-employed people are generally responsible for their own safety during manual handling and should take the same steps to protect themselves as employers must take to protect their employees. 

There are some situations where a self-employed person is carrying out work under the control and direction of another employer,  in this situation the employer may be responsible for the health and safety of the self-employed person,  it is important to know your status and the status of anyone working for you.

Employees should be provided with as much information about the loads they are handling as is reasonably practicable, they should receive appropriate training and suitable PPE where required.