Manual Handling: An Overview

This section of the website seeks to give practical guidance on the Manual Handling of Loads Regulation, which forms part of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007

There are four key requirements::

  • Avoidance of Manual Handling
  • Reduction of Manual Handling
  • Risk Assessment of Manual Handling Tasks
  • Provision of Instruction and training for relevant employees

Traditionally in Ireland there has been an over reliance on the provision of training in correct manual handling as the only means of reducing the risk of injury.

Current scientific evidence now tell us that training interventions predominantly based on technique training have no impact on work practices or injury rates (Hignett 2003)

Manual Handling is a physical activity that takes place in every workplace, and in some cases the activity does not pose a problem. However it can be a potential workplace hazard when an employee for example is required to handle heavy loads, which could result in a back injury.

It will be necessary to carry out a risk assessment of existing manual handling tasks before making an informed decision on which manual handling tasks need to be avoided or reduced. Employers must then take steps to avoid or reduce the risk of injury.

The Manual Handling Risk Assessment Case Study Videos illustrate the approach that should be taken when carrying out task specific manual handling risk assessments.

Further information is available from a number of published Guidance documents and there is also a section on Manual Handling Frequently Asked Questions