‘TILE(O)’ your way through manual handling risk assessment

‘TILE(O)’ your way through manual handling risk assessment

Posted on Jul 03, 2015

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


I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found the most fun – and sometimes most effective - way to remember things is to make a rhyme, acronym or something equally as snappy. From my driving lessons back in the day where the instructor so helpfully told me that when it comes to keeping a safe distance “Only a fool breaks the two second rule”, to the good old classics “I before E, except after C” (well.. most of the time anyway), 'FAST' when it comes to dealing with a stroke (face, arms, speech, time) and that handy month reminder, 30 days have September, April, June and November.

So when it comes to health and safety, and specifically Manual Handling, those clever acronym creators have done it again: welcome ‘TILEO’. So, what does this stand for, and why is it important to remember?

‘TILEO’ stands for Task, Individual, Load, Environment and Other Factors.

These are the key elements you need to consider when you (or the responsible person in your organisation) are conducting both dynamic risk assessments (This term is often used to describe the day-to-day judgments that employees have to make in respect of health and safety. They cannot be written down because they are about making specific judgments in a certain situation), or on the spot assessments.

So what should you consider for each of the letters? Here’s a handy breakdown for you:


Does the manual handling task include any of the following:

Twisting, Stooping, Bending, Pushing, Pulling or Sudden Movement?

I scrabble tileNDIVIDUAL

Is the person completing the task:

Pregnant, disabled or suffering from health problems?

L scrabble tileOAD

Is the load:

Heavy, difficult to grip, sharp, hot, cold or unstable?

E scrabble tileNVIRONMENT

Within the environment, is/are there:

Space constraints, uneven or slippery flooring, unstable flooring, different floor levels, hot, cold or humid conditions?

O scrabble tileTHER FACTORS

Final things for you to consider:

Is the movement or posture hindered by personal protective equipment, is there an absence of the correct PPE for the task or job in hand?


TILEO and risk assessment

The ‘TILEO’ acronym can be used to assess the risk in each manual handling activity within your organisation. Risk factors that can cause injury such as MSDs (Musculoskeletal Disorders) can be found in virtually every workplace from commerce to agriculture, health services to construction. An estimated 11.6 million working days a year are lost to work-related MSDs. So next time you need to identify any potential hazards and ensure that your staff members, and your organisation is safe and sound, get TILEO-ing. We’d also encourage you to pass on the TILEO method to your employees and ensure they’re trained and confident when it comes to assessing risk and identifying hazards.

Tell us how you'd remember the acronym, and share your thoughts by tweeting @flicklearning - we'd love to hear your thoughts! for us, we've opted for a little ditty in the style of that dog that farmer once had ‘B-I-N-G-O’… remember it? Go on give it a try… “flick have found a handy tool and TILEO is it’s name-o… T-I-L-E-O, T-I-L-E-O, T-I-L-E-O and TILEO is its name-o.”


If you would like to find out more about our RoSPA certified training courses click here.

Why not buy flick's manual handling training today for you and your staff? Just click here.


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