Transport safety in the workplace

Lifting and manual handling safety

Guide

Workplace transport doesn't only involve vehicles. You almost certainly move things by hand as well. You may also use lifting equipment.

Both lifting and manual handling must be included in your health and safety risk assessment.

Manual handling is a major cause of injuries in UK businesses - many workers suffer back problems or other injuries. Where possible you should avoid the need for manual handling, eg by providing appropriate equipment.

If manual handling is unavoidable, you should assess and minimise the risks. Training employees in correct handling techniques can help reduce injuries and the number of days taken off as a consequence.

To help minimise the risk of lifting equipment causing injury you should ensure it is:

  • strong, stable and suitable for the job
  • positioned to minimise the risk of it or its load falling on anyone
  • marked with safety information
  • regularly inspected and maintained

Anyone using the equipment should be properly trained and any failure of lifting equipment should also be reported. 

To help identify high-risk workplace manual handling activities, read about the manual handling assessment chart (MAC) tool.