The Ultimate Guide to Manual Handling Assessments: How to Keep Your Workplace Safe and Injury-Free

The Ultimate Guide to Manual Handling Assessments: How to Keep Your Workplace Safe and Injury-Free


In today’s fast-paced world, it’s crucial for every business to prioritise the safety and well-being of its employees. Manual handling tasks, such as lifting, carrying, and pushing heavy objects, are a common part of many job roles. However, without proper training and assessment, these tasks can lead to serious injuries and even long-term health issues. That’s where manual handling assessments come in. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the importance of manual handling assessments and explore the step-by-step process of conducting them effectively. From identifying hazards to implementing control measures, we’ll provide you with all the essential information you need to keep your workplace safe and injury-free. So, whether you’re an employer looking to improve workplace safety or an employee seeking to understand your rights and responsibilities, this guide is your go-to resource for mastering manual handling assessments. Let’s get started on creating a safer and healthier working environment together!

What is a manual handling assessment?

A manual handling assessment is a systematic process that helps identify and evaluate the risks associated with manual handling tasks in the workplace. It involves assessing the physical demands of the tasks, identifying potential hazards, and implementing control measures to minimize the risk of injury. By conducting a manual handling assessment, employers can ensure that their employees are equipped with the necessary training and resources to carry out their tasks safely and efficiently.

The assessment typically involves observing and analyzing the tasks performed, considering factors such as the weight and size of the load, the distance it needs to be moved, the frequency of handling, and the working environment. This comprehensive evaluation helps determine the level of risk associated with each task and enables the implementation of appropriate control measures to reduce or eliminate those risks.

Manual handling assessments are not only essential for compliance with legal obligations but also for creating a safe and productive working environment. By proactively identifying and addressing potential hazards, employers can significantly reduce the risk of workplace injuries and improve overall employee well-being.

The importance of manual handling assessments

The importance of manual handling assessments cannot be overstated. According to statistics, manual handling injuries account for a significant portion of workplace accidents, resulting in lost productivity, increased healthcare costs, and employee suffering. By conducting regular manual handling assessments, employers can minimize these risks and create a safer working environment for their employees.

One of the key benefits of manual handling assessments is the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). These disorders, affecting the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other parts of the body, are often caused by repetitive or strenuous manual handling tasks. By identifying and mitigating the risk factors associated with these tasks, employers can reduce the incidence of MSDs and improve employee well-being.

Furthermore, manual handling assessments help employers comply with legal requirements. In many countries, there are specific regulations and legislation in place that require employers to assess and manage the risks associated with manual handling tasks. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties, fines, and legal liability. By conducting manual handling assessments, employers can demonstrate their commitment to workplace safety and fulfill their legal responsibilities.

Legal requirements for manual handling assessments

In most countries, there are legal requirements for employers to conduct manual handling assessments. These requirements are designed to protect the health and safety of employees and ensure that employers take proactive steps to minimize the risk of workplace injuries. While the specific details may vary depending on the jurisdiction, some common legal requirements include:

1. Risk assessment: Employers are required to assess the risks associated with manual handling tasks and implement control measures to mitigate those risks. This includes identifying hazards, evaluating the severity and likelihood of harm, and taking appropriate action to reduce or eliminate the risk.

2. Training and information: Employers must provide employees with adequate training and information on safe manual handling techniques. This includes educating employees on proper lifting and carrying techniques, the proper use of equipment, and the importance of taking breaks and using assistive devices when necessary.

3. Consultation and participation: Employers are often required to consult with employees and their representatives when conducting manual handling assessments. This ensures that employees have a voice in the assessment process and can provide valuable insights and feedback.

4. Review and revision: Manual handling assessments should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect any changes in the workplace, such as new tasks, equipment, or working conditions. This ongoing review process ensures that the assessments remain effective and up to date.

5. Reporting and record-keeping: Employers are typically required to keep records of manual handling assessments, including the results of the assessments, the control measures implemented, and any incidents or injuries that occur. These records can be used to demonstrate compliance with legal requirements and provide a basis for future improvements.

It’s important for employers to familiarize themselves with the specific legal requirements in their jurisdiction and ensure that they are fully compliant. Failure to meet these requirements can have serious consequences, both in terms of legal liability and the well-being of employees. By prioritizing manual handling assessments, employers can create a safer and more productive workplace for everyone involved.

Manual handling assessments at TPM

TPM has a range of ergonomics and manual handling training solutions to cater to your workplace. We know that improving the culture around Occupational Health and Safety leads to better awareness and fewer injuries in the workplace.

We have a dedicated team of certified AHPRA physiotherapists who are committed to providing the best possible standard of comprehensive manual handling training sessions for your staff. Our falls analysis and training sessions combine both theoretical and practical strategies to ensure that the correct manual handling training procedures are implemented at your home thereby securing the safety of every staff and resident.

We complete regularly manual handling and ergonomics training from our WoolgoolgaCoffs Harbour, Yamba and Townsville clinics for groups including aged care facilities, engineering firms, mining companies, nursing homes, hospitals and many of New South Wales and Queensland’s large companies. 

Our workshops typically include:

  • Basic manual handling concepts and definition
  • Hazard identification
  • Importance of correct manual handling
  • Roles of employer and employee
  • Workplace initiatives
  • Risk factors including loads, duration and frequency, environmental and personal factors
  • Elimination and control of risks
  • Safe work zones
  • Demonstrations and group practice

Most importantly, to best tailor training, we work with you to identify the needs of your workplace.

Contact us today for further information on our manual handling programs (07) 4448 3952

Physiotherapy Townsville - The Physio Movement


     517 Flinders Street
Townsville City Qld 4810
     1300 TPM FIT or 4740 4516
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