The legal requirements for manual handling training in UK workplaces are primarily based on the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR), which is an extension of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA). The purpose of these regulations is to reduce the risk of injury due to manual handling tasks by ensuring proper training and safe working practices are in place.
Under the MHOR, employers are legally required to:
- Avoid manual handling tasks where reasonably practicable.
- Assess the risks associated with manual handling tasks that cannot be avoided.
- Implement measures to reduce the risk of injury as far as reasonably practicable.
As part of these requirements, employers must provide appropriate manual handling training to their employees. This training should cover the following aspects:
- Understanding the risks associated with manual handling.
- Recognising hazardous manual handling tasks and situations.
- Correct lifting and handling techniques, such as bending the knees, keeping the back straight, and holding the load close to the body.
- The use of mechanical aids or equipment, if available, to reduce the need for manual handling.
- The importance of reporting any concerns or incidents related to manual handling.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) also requires employers to ensure that their employees are adequately trained in health and safety matters. This includes providing manual handling training to employees who are at risk of injury from lifting and moving objects in the workplace.
To comply with these legal requirements, employers should conduct regular risk assessments, provide ongoing training and refresher courses, and monitor employees’ performance to ensure that they are applying safe manual handling techniques. By doing so, organisations can minimise the risk of injury, improve workplace safety, and avoid potential legal consequences.