What Is Manual Handling?
Manual handling means using your body to exert force to handle, support or restrain any object, including people or animals.
It is not just lifting or carrying heavy objects; it includes: lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, lowering, throwing, carrying, packing, typing, assembling, cleaning, sorting and using tools.
The term is not limited to handling heavy objects – pruning plants, stacking items onto a shelf, helping a patient into a bath and even using a keyboard are all examples of manual handling.
Hazardous manual handling involves:
- repetitive or sustained application of force, awkward postures or movements
- tasks that people would find difficult due to the degree of force applied (high force)
- exposure to sustained vibration
- manual handling of live people or animals
- manual handling of unstable loads that are difficult to grasp or hold.