P_HS_04 Manual Handling

Musculoskeletal disorders along with stress are the biggest cause of sickness absence in the NHS, reportedly accounting for 40% of all sickness absence. Staff in all departments are at risk of injury from manual handling including office workers and support services staff as well as those who move and handle patients.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) give specific legal duties for manual handling at work. Under these regulations the Trust has a legal duty, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that:

The need for hazardous moving and handling is avoided or, when it cannot be avoided, an assessment is made of the operation and where there is a risk of injury, appropriate steps taken to reduce the risk to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

Manual Handling refers to the transportation or support of a load, including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof by hand or bodily force.

  • The Load is defined as something (equipment or plant) or somebody (person), which needs to be moved.
  • The Person is the patient, service user, client, young person, resident, who requires assistance to be moved.
  • A Competent Person is someone with sufficient training; experience and knowledge to undertake a particular task e.g. risk assessments.
  • The Ergonomic approach is about fitting handling tasks to people to make them safer easier and more pleasant to perform.
  • Manual Handling is used broadly to cover other terms such as moving and handling, moving and assisting etc.

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