Manual handling: AARR, MEEP and all the HSE acronyms

Manual handling: AARR, MEEP and all the HSE acronyms

Posted on Nov 25, 2015

Manual handling: AARR, MEEP and all the HSE acronyms



online manual handling trainingWhen it comes to health and safety – or in this specific case, manual handling – it can be hard to figure out your responsibilities when it comes to moving and handling. Combine trying to understand your responsibilities along with getting your head round a long list of acronyms and abbreviations and you have the recipe for quite a headache.

Manual handling can cause injuries in the short-term through accidents, or longer-term damage from bad handling techniques. Short-term injuries include bruises, cuts, sprains and broken bones. Long-term damage often leads to persistent back injuries.

At flick, we like to keep things simple – honestly, it’s a value we live by. Simplicity is key, not just in our training, but also in the way we like to remember things (those of you who have followed us for a while may remember our handy blog on the ‘TILEO’ manual handling risk assessment tool – if you missed it, no worries – read it here. Well, we’re at it again… welcome to flick's guide to AARR, MEEP and much, much more.

How to simplify Health and Safety information that you need to remember

So let’s get started – and as always, we’ll be leaving you some handy tips for remembering these important elements of manual handling.



MEEP should be used when considering and identifying hazards in your workplace or setting.





MEEP is sometimes also known as PEME – people, equipment, materials, and environment – exactly the same elements to consider, just in a different order. At flick – we prefer ‘MEEP’ (especially as this is what beaker from the muppets used to say…. a lot).





 2. PPPP

Otherwise known as the ‘Four P’s’ (inspired), this is a great way to remind yourself of what you need to consider when lifting objects in your workplace.


Plan the lift. Can handling aids be used? Where is the load going to be placed? Will help be needed with the load? Remove obstructions such as discarded wrapping materials. For a long lift, consider resting the load midway on a table or bench to change grip.


Avoid wearing tight clothing or unsuitable footwear when lifting, remove these if necessary.


Keep your head up, bend at the hips and the knees - never bend your back. If possible, the load should be hugged as close as possible to the body - this will make it easier to carry, distributing weight more evenly.


Move slowly. The load should not be jerked or snatched as this can make it harder to keep control and can increase the risk of injury. If precise positioning of the load is necessary, put it down first, then slide it into the desired position 

Remember: There is a difference between what people can lift and what they can safely lift. If in doubt, seek advice or get help. KeePPPP smart when it comes to manual handling.



No, not the noise an angry pirate makes, AARR is a great way to stay on top of – and aware of – your manual handling risk assessment obligations.

Avoid hazardous manual handling

Assess the hazards and risks of manual handling tasks

Reduce the risk of injury

Review the assessment

As a manager or business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your staff and the general public who may enter your workplace. Assessing risks and introducing precautions to deal with the risks you identify is key.

Don't walk the plank when it comes to your risk assessments, think AARR.






When thinking of manual handling... think 'LITE'


Is the load: heavy, difficult to grip, sharp, hot, cold or unstable?

Individual Capacity

Is the person completing the task: pregnant, disabled or suffering from health problems?


Does the manual handling task include any of the following: twisting, stooping, bending, pushing, pulling or sudden movement?


Within the environment, is/are there: space constraints, uneven or slippery flooring, unstable flooring, different floor levels, hot, cold or humid conditions?

For this one, it seems fitting to think of 'lite' as 'light'… because when it comes to lifting we all secretly hope it's a light box we've just been asked to move into the other office.



Getting a bit more legal with this one, MHOR, or  'Manual Handling Operations Regulations', is your duty as an employer to avoid Manual Handling as far as reasonably practicable if there is a possibility of injury.





Fancy reading MHOR (Get it? 'more'... we just got phonetical) on MHOR? Well, the HSE have laid it all out for you - click here for the 411 on your legal responsibilities when it comes to manual handling.

As always we'd love to hear from you, so please comment below and let us know how you remember the important bits when it comes to your responsibilities. Are you a lover of a rhyme or song? share them below – we look forward to hearing from you! 


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