• Dorset Health and Safety

Manual Handling at Work


1. Overview


As an employer, you must protect your workers from the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling in the workplace. Manual handling means transporting or supporting a load by hand or bodily force. It includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving loads. A load can be an object, person or animal.


The law sets out how employers must deal with risks from manual handling:

avoid hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable

  • assess the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided

  • reduce the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling to as low as reasonably practicable

The weight of a load is important, though the law does not set specific weight limits.