How to carry out a manual handling risk assessment [Whitepaper]

How to carry out a manual handling risk assessment [Whitepaper]

Posted on Dec 16, 2015

How to carry out a manual handling risk assessment



When manual handling goes wrong 


Injuries caused by poorly managed or incorrect manual handling are usually due to lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling loads. These tasks can cause strains, sprains, trapped fingers, cuts from sharp objects, breaks, fractures and can sometimes result in death.  


online manual handling trainingIn 2013/14 alone;


  • Handling caused nearly a quarter of reported injuries 

  • An estimated 909,000 working days were lost due to these  

  • An average of 6.6 days was lost for each handling injury* 



Good practice when it comes to manual handling is essential for any company. As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure you are compliant with regulations, and that your staff are aware of the safe practices. Manual handling risk assessments should be performed for each appropriate task in your organisation, and reviewed if any part of the process changes. 


So what do I need to do? 


Best practice guidance states the following when it comes to manual handling: 

  • You carry out a thorough risk assessment of your processes and tasks 

  • You ensure that sufficient controls are in place to prevent any accidents 

  • You clearly communicate the hazards and potential risks to your team 

  • You monitor your operational standards on a regular basis 

  • You review and update any processes that involve unnecessary manual handling. 


Performing a risk assessment is simple. There are three practical steps you may need to take. 


  1. The first is to establish if a risk assessment is necessary. 

    This can be done in several ways, but the simplest is to use a question chart (just like the one pictured below) that will lead you through a series of questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to establish if a risk assessment is required for the particular task. Just ensure the activity in question is reviewed regularly, and if you say that manual handling can be avoided, make sure it is (we’ve included this in the downloadable resource for you in this blog). 


quickflickguide - manual handling risk assessment


  1. T.I.L.E.O - before you fill in your formal risk assessment report using a checklist to assist you in considering all elements of the task in question. This checklist should encourage you to consider the ‘Task’, ‘Individual’, ‘Load’, ‘Environment’ and any ‘Other’ factors that could potentially cause injury or make the task unsafe. (download the whitepaper in this blog to access a pre-made checklist of factors you should consider) 


  1. Now you’ve identified any potential hazards from your T.I.L.E.O. checklist, it’s time to complete your formal report. Remember, you must complete a report for each task that involves manual handling, and that you’ve deemed necessary. You can use a template for the report you complete (flick have incorporated this in the whitepaper in this blog if you want to download a pre-made report template). The report you complete should also include any changes or control measures you have implemented, or are going to implement as a result of the assessment. Your report should also be reviewed regularly (we recommend annually, or as soon as any aspect of the task changes). 


Once you’ve completed your risk assessment, applied any necessary safety measures as a result of your risk assessment and, of course, completed your training in health and safety (you can find flick’s here) you’re all compliant and good to go. Remember, as the owner or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure good practice in your organisation, and that your staff and any visitors are safe.  



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