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Manual Handling Training

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Introduction to Manual Handling



Warehouse worker manual handling with box

A major cause of staff absence from the workplace is as a result of incorrect or poor manual handling techniques which lead to ailments such as repetitive strain injury (RSI), muscle pulls and strains, trapped nerves, hernias, work-related upper limb disorders (WRULDs) and one of the most common of all injuries... back problems.

Conditions caused or aggravated by poor manual handling vary not only in their painfulness, but also the time it takes for pain to appear. For example, a muscle tear will be felt immediately, whereas other conditions may take a certain amount of time before pain occurs, like repetitive strain injury where a worker can perform a task quite happily for a while before they experience any problems (hence the word 'repetitive' in the name).

Along with the time taken for symptoms to appear, different manual handling injuries take different lengths of time to heal, although it will depend on the level of damage done in the original incident and the amount of time it is given to heal. At one end of the spectrum, a minor muscle pull will heal completely within a few days or so if given complete rest, whereas a dislocation or hernia will take much longer. For some, their injuries may never fully heal, such as a back injury which troubles a person for the rest of their life. This is why it is essential that manual handling injuries, or rather the prevention of them, is not overlooked and is given serious attention when compiling or conducting your company's health and safety training programme.


How to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries occuring



Reducing the risk of manual handling injuries

To reduce the risks of manual handling injuries occurring, there are a number of steps that can be taken. As mentioned above, suitable manual handling training will give workers and employees the knowledge to utilise correct manual handling techniques when moving loads in the workplace through lifting, pulling, carrying, pushing etc. Although many people may already believe they know how to lift or move an object, they may not know how to do it correctly and minimise the chances of an injury to themselves.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, as well as The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, mean employers have a legal duty and responsibility to ensure that sufficient manual handling risk assessments are performed for manual handling activities so that injuries can be avoided.

The results of a manual handling risk assessment may highlight the need for things such as additional or more comprehensive health and safety training, the provision of machinery and equipment to assist with the lifting or moving of a load, re-arranging the workspace so that loads do not need to be moved over as great a distance, splitting the load into separate smaller ones if this is practical etc.

One of the most common reasons for a worker suffering a manual handling injury is when they try and manipulate a load which is beyond their physical capabilities. Whether it is too heavy, awkward, unstable, or a combination of these or other reasons, it can often result in over-stressing their body and bringing about an injury such as a slipped disc or muscle tear which has the potential to keep them away from the workplace for a lengthy period of time. This is not only inconvenient from an employer's point of view in terms of the organisational and administrative headaches that ensue, but will also have a financial impact in terms of lost output and sick pay.

It is important that employers do not allocate a worker a task that requires a physical exertion which is beyond their capabilities. For example, it is inappropriate to expect a worker who is more advanced in age to do heavy lifting or extremely tiring work, as they are much more likely to be more susceptible to suffering a manual handling injury than a younger person would be.

Certain health and safety courses including the NEBOSH General Certificate and construction site safety courses like the Site Manager's SMSTS will make reference to the risks posed by poor manual handling techniques and practices and the damage that can be inflicted upon the human body as a result.




In-House Courses


In-House Training

The above manual handling courses can be tailored to your exact requirements or used as a basis upon which to build a manual handling programme which focuses specifically on the particular loads and manual handling demands on your workers. Having a bespoke course means that your employees receive a much more practical benefit from the training. Our manual handling health and safety courses can even include a practical element so that delegates can put into practice what is being taught under the supervision of one of our experienced course tutors, which can be much more beneficial than simply sitting and watching what should be done.

We can run it at your premises if you have the training facilities available, or we can run the session(s) at one of our venues.

To request a quote or if you have any questions, please call us on 0844 800 3295 or send us an online contact form by clicking on the 'Contact' tab in the top right of the page.




Scheduled Open Courses

Scheduled Train The Trainer open courses

There are no hidden extras to pay on top of our manual handling open course prices, unlike other providers who charge extra for things like study books and refreshments. Our scheduled manual handling open courses have the following included in the course cost:


  • Course Materials and Workbook
  • Certificate Fees
  • Lunchtime Buffet
  • Refreshments Throughout The Day
  • Free All-Day Car Parking


Our manual handling course will give participants a basic understanding of the factors necessary to ensure their own safety and that of their work colleagues.

This manual handling training course is based upon the principles of safe moving and handling of loads known as the 'kinetic' approach to manual handling.

At the conclusion of the course, delegates will have an understanding of safe manual handling principles and possess the skills to avoid the dangers to health of careless and unskilled manual handling operations.
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The Manual Handling Instructor course is intended for those new to training manual handling, or those wishing to update their skills.

The course will provide a broad and comprehensive overview of best practice in manual handling training techniques. It is recommended that delegates have a fundamental knowledge of manual handling techniques.

The course is aimed at employees within an organisation who have been tasked with training other colleagues in safe manual handling principles and covers safe manual handling techniques, manual handling risk assessment and training techniques.
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This course is aimed at those responsible for performing a manual handling risk assessment. It will give attendees a basic understanding of the factors necessary to complete a manual handling risk assessment, and ensure their own safety and that of their colleagues and staff they supervise.

Delegates will undertake a number of practical manual handling risk assessments throughout the session. As this manual handling training course is very interactive, it is advised that delegates are reasonably fit and able to take part in the majority of practical manual handling activities, and wear suitable clothing too.
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Online E-learning Course

Online Manual Handling e-Learning Courses

Our manual handling e-learning course will cover issues such as describing what manual handling is, manual handling regulations, practical manual handling solutions and the use of mechanical aids.

There are multiple choice questions at the end of each unit. Those who successfully achieve the minimum mark required to pass these assessments are rewarded with a printable certificate.

An e-learning course is ideal for those who cannot get time away from the workplace and do not require a tailored course which deals with specific risks. If you do, then an open course or bespoke/in-house course will be much more suitable for your requirements.



Single License

Individuals looking to take this course can purchase a single user license for £15.00 + vat. Please click the link below to complete the booking form and payment online. Once we have received this we will set-up your access to the course within 24-48 hours and e-mail you your log-in details.



Multiple Licenses for Businesses

If you are a business or organisation who have a number of employees that you would like to take our manual handling online course, we offer discounts for multiple purchases, with a greater discount amount available the more courses that are purchased. The pricing and discount structure available for mutiple purchase is currently:

  • 2-9 Licenses: £14.00 + vat per license
  • 10-49 Licenses: £13.50 + vat per license
  • 50-99 Licenses: £13.00 + vat per license
  • 100+ Licenses: £12.50 + vat per license

Purchasing a business license will grant the buyer administration access from where they can issue log-in usernames and passwords to their employees.

This allows businesses to take advantage of the greater discounts on offer even if they do not currently know the names of every individual who will be taking the online course, which is particularly useful if you plan to grant access to employees over a period of time rather than all at once (e.g. getting new starters to complete the course). It also negates the need to fill in a massively long booking form with all their names when purchasing!

Manual Handling E-Learning Course



Real World Manual Handling Advice

A female office worker lifting a lot of cardboard boxes

"You don't really understand the full importance of employee safety until you've spent three years working for a law firm. Every single lift job, every single time, I was asked if I thought I could handle the job. Extensive tools were provided to make all the manual labour easier and the extent of the safety precautions taken was mind boggling. After one minor incident, I've never been so looked after in my life; it was a full week before they'd let me carry anything again for fear of injury."

About one-third of work-related injuries are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) which are usually caused by incorrect manual handling techniques. One of the most common reasons employees take time off from work to recover from injury is sprained, strained, or torn muscles as a result of manual lifting. It doesn't matter whether you run a law firm, care home or a farm, manual handling is something most of your employees will encounter. If you aren't prepared, there are serious risks and consequences involved for both the individual and the business. So, how do you prepare?


1. Minimise the need for manual handling. Eliminating the hazard is the first step to take for any health and safety if it is reasonably practical to do so. Obviously, this is a lot easier in an office than a construction site and either way completely eliminating the need is virtually impossible. Still, when planning a project that will involve heavy lifting, always begin by asking the questions, "Is this completely necessary? Is there any part of this project that can be eliminated?"


2. Use tools to minimise the risk of manual handling. Don't let an employee lift what a dolly can easily handle. Machines carry risks as well, so be wary of these when considering what tools to invest in, but always be sure you are utilising the tools available to their full extent.


3. Dialogue with your employees. The obvious application is asking an employee what they can easily handle, but dialogue often includes asking an employee if they see any risks that you haven't noticed or if they can see an easier way of accomplishing a specific goal. Always be aware that many people will not want to admit that the load is too much for them, so some judgment on your part may be needed to stop them taking on something which may injure them.


4. Train your employees. This is the big one. You have a responsibility to your employees to watch out for their safety and provide manual handling training, whilst employees also have some responsibility for looking after themselves. Training your workforce regularly in the safest way to accomplish manual handling is the best way to avoid such an injury in the workplace.


Sprains, tears, and back pain don't have to be a peril in your workplace. By doing your research on how to have a safe environment for your employees you can minimise the risk of injuries, protecting your business and your employees in the process.


Related Manual Handling Pages/Articles



Related Courses

Please see below for some other courses which you may be interested in:

Accident Investigation Course

Our accident investigation course is aimed at those persons responsible for leading or participating in accident investigations, and aims to equip them with the broad base of skills needed to undertake the task along with how to reduce the risk of expensive litigation and criminal proceedings, and establish the importance of correct methods of accident investigation.

It will also help those who may be involved in the process such as supervisors, managers and directors.

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COSHH Awareness Course

The COSHH Awareness course is aimed at people who deal with hazardous substances on a day to day basis. Delegates will be briefed on the importance of procedures, safe handling and risk assessment of hazardous substances within their organisation.

At the conclusion of the course, delegates will have a sound understanding of their personal and legal responsibilities for the control of chemical and hazardous substances.

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Fire Safety Training Course

The Fire Safety course is aimed at all employees who need a basic awareness of fire safety issues. It is a health and safety training course which has been designed to give all personnel the necessary information, skills and training for them to be competent in basic fire safety.

Fires are a common potential danger in every single workplace and industry. Therefore, understanding the risks and having suitable prevention measures in place is vital.

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Permit to Work Training Course

A permit to work system ensures that formal validation and authority is given when hazardous work is to be undertaken. It ensures that all components of a safe system of work are established before high risk work commences, thereby controlling and reducing risk to individuals and the organisation. The permit to work is also a means of communication and control between site managers, supervisors, contractors and those carrying out the hazardous work.

This health and safety training course can be tailored to include details of your company-specific permit to work system.

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Risk Assessment Course

Our risk assessment course is aimed at anyone with specific responsibility for risk assessments, and will also be beneficial for anyone involved in the risk assessment or risk management process. Typical delegates include supervisors, managers, directors and safety representatives.

The course is designed to give those with risk assessment responsibility a sound footing in the process of risk assessment. We introduce delegates to the relevant legal framework and current HSE recommended best practice.

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Sharps Awareness Course

This course is aimed at operatives who work with sharps, along with their supervisors and managers. It is designed to provide an insight to some of the issues associated with the incorrect handling of sharp objects as well as health risks, and ensuring the safe disposal and handling of these implements.

Our sharps training course is also an ideal course to top-up existing knowledge and tool box training, or for managers needing to understand the issues being faced by their staff, and offers ideas and solutions to help deal with these issues.

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Do you need some advice?

Discuss your training requirements today with one of our expert advisers.