The Hazardous manual handling compliance code, 2018 came into effect on 15 March 2018. It replaces the Manual handling code of practice, 2000. The new code is based on the old code and is designed to:

  • be easy to read and use
  • align with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations)
  • reflect modern work practices and state of knowledge

align with other updated compliance codes.

Content

The new code includes new content, particularly in relation to risk control. Case studies have also been removed.

Reference and style changes

The new code includes some standard updates:

  • New references to the relevant legislation when legal duties apply.
  • Additional cross-references to make related information easier to find in the code.
  • Information about Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) duties as well as OHS Regulations duties.

How to use this guide

The differences between the old and new codes are outlined in the following sections.

The sections reflect the new layout for the codes. Under each section is a short summary of the key changes and under this summary is a table that lists the headings of the old and new code for ease of comparison for duty holders.

Part 1 – Introduction

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • A preface has been added before Part 1 – Introduction, which incorporates information from appendix 1 from the old code about what a code is, how it was developed and its legal status.
  • The legislative framework now appears in appendix A of the new code as ‘The compliance framework’.
  • The OHS Regulations definition of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) has been included, and ‘chronic pain’ has been revised to ‘chronic musculoskeletal pain’ in the list of MSD examples.
  • Information in Part 2 of the old code, about the duties of designers, manufacturers and suppliers, has been moved to Part 6 of the new code. The table from this section ‘Design solution for plant’ now appears in appendix E of the new code.
  • All duty holders are outlined, for example employers, employees, designers, manufacturers and suppliers of plant, with a summary of their primary duties under the OHS Act and the OHS Regulations.
  • New information about the risk management process has been included.
  • The information about consultation that formerly appeared in Part 3 of the old code has been expanded and moved to Part 1 of the new code.
  • Appendix 2 on information, instruction and training from the old code has been moved to Part 1 of the new code and comprehensively covers the relevant duties under the OHS Act.
Code of practice 2000 Compliance code 2018

Part 1 – Introduction

  • what is manual handling?
  • what kind of injuries can result from manual handling?
  • who should read this code?

Part 2 – Duties of designers, manufacturers, importers and introduction

  • who is a designer, manufacturer, importer or supplier?
  • what is plant?
  • what must designers, manufacturers and suppliers of plant do?
  • how to control the risk
  • design solutions for plant (including a table)
  • what information do I need to provide?

Part 1 – Introduction

  • purpose
  • scope
  • application
  • what is hazardous manual handling?
  • what is a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD)?
  • who has duties?
  • the risk management process
  • consultation
  • information, instruction, training and supervision

Part 2 – Hazard identification

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • Additional information has been included about how to identify tasks with hazardous manual handling, for example, observing how employees work, reviewing information, looking for trends.
  • The section ‘What is hazardous manual handling?’ has been removed, as this is already set out in Part 1 of the new code.
  • Examples and illustrations about postures, movements and forces are now set out in Table 1 and some new illustrations have been added.

The hazard identification case study has been removed.

Code of practice 2000 Compliance code 2018

Part 3 – Duties of employers (hazard identification)

  • introduction
  • consulting your employees
  • hazard identification
  • what is hazard identification?
  • what is hazardous manual handling?
  • in what circumstances must I identify hazardous manual handling?
  • hazard identification for similar tasks

Part 2 – Hazard identification

  • how to identify hazardous manual handling
  • consult your employees and HSRs
  • review available information
  • look for trends
  • observe work

Part 3 – Assessing the risks

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • The introduction to Part 3 states the employer duty under the OHS Regulations to control risks of MSD associated with hazardous manual handling, and clarifies that risk assessment is not mandatory if employers know how to control the risk of MSD.
  • Additional information has been added to the existing questions to help users clearly determine if there is a risk of MSD, and examples of repetitive or sustained awkward postures, movements and forces have been put into tables .
  • The section ‘What are the sources of risk?’ has been moved to this part from the former risk control part, and provides an example of how it might be helpful to break a task down to identify all the risk factors.
  • New information has been included about how psychosocial factors may contribute to the risk of MSD.
  • The worked examples have been removed and information about weight limits and why they are not prescribed has been moved to Part 4 in the new code.

Information about conducting a risk assessment under the 1988 Manual Handling Regulations, and the case study at the end has been removed.

Code of practice 2000 Compliance code 2018

Part 3 – Duties of employers (risk assessment)

  • what is risk assessment?
  • how do I carry out a risk assessment?
  • why are there no weight limits in this code?
  • additional risk assessment methods
  • risk assessment for similar tasks
  • when to review a risk assessment
  • keeping records of risk assessments

what if I have already done a risk assessment under the 1998 Regulations?

Part 3 – Assessing the risks

  • how to determine a risk of MSD
  • question to help assess MSD risk
  • what are the sources of risk?
  • risk assessments for groups of employees

Part 4 – Risk control measures

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • Information at the opening of the Part has been revised to clearly state the relevant employer duty to control risks of MSD associated with hazardous manual handling.
  • The hierarchy of control is clearly explained and there is also a table that provides an overview of the levels of control.
  • The section ‘What does practicable mean?’ is now covered by a breakout box in Part 1 of the new code, which contains a cross-reference to further information on what ‘reasonably practicable’ means.
  • A new breakout box reminds employers to consider their supply chain when they are selecting risk control measures.
  • Some information has been added to the risk controls; in particular some further options for altering the environmental conditions, altering the systems of work, and changing the objects used in the task.
  • Team handling and job rotation are listed under ‘Reducing the risk – by use of information, instruction or training’ and it is clearly stated these controls should be used to supplement other controls.
  • The case studies and the breakout box on state of knowledge have been removed.
Code of practice 2000 Compliance code 2018

Part 3 – Duties of employers (risk control)

  • what is risk control?
  • what does practicable mean?
  • sources of risk
  • can the manual handling task be eliminated?
  • how to control the risk
  • putting risk controls in place
  • reviewing risk controls

Part 4 – Risk control measures

  • determining risk control measures
  • eliminating the risk
  • reducing the risk by making changes to the workplace or work
  • altering the workplace layout
  • altering the workplace environment
  • altering the systems of work
  • altering the things used in the hazardous manual handling

Part 5 – Review and revision of risk control measures and Part 6 – Designers, manufacturers and suppliers

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • Information about the duties of employees from Part 4 of the old code has been moved to Part 1 of the new code
  • Part 5 of the new code now sets out new information about when and how to review risk control measures that are in place
  • Information from Part 2 of the old code now appears in Part 6 of the new code, which expands on the duties and responsibilities of designers of buildings, structures or plant, and manufacturers, importers and suppliers of plant to design out any MSD risks associated with hazardous manual handling and provide relevant information about plant they supply.
Code of practice 2000 Compliance code 2018

Part 4 – Duties of employees

  • responsibility to work safely

Part 5 – Review and revision of risk control measures

  • how to review risk control measures

Part 6 – Designers, manufacturers and suppliers

  • designers of buildings and structures
  • designers, manufacturers and suppliers of plant

Appendices

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • Appendix A of the new code sets out the compliance framework, which formerly appeared in Part 1 of the old code.
  • The one-page worksheet formerly in Appendix 5 of the old code now appears in Appendix B of the new code, and the long risk assessment worksheet is in Appendix D.
  • Appendix C is new and will help employers identify and record instances where employees experience discomfort.
  • the table setting out design solutions for plant, which previously appeared in Part 2 of the old code, now appears in Appendix E of the new code.
  • the table on further risk assessment methods from Appendix 3 of the old code now appears in Appendix F of the new code. The rest of the information has been removed.
  • Appendix 1 of the old code has been removed. This information is now covered in the Preface and Introduction of the new code.
  • Appendix 2 of the old code has been incorporated and expanded in the section ‘Information, instruction, training and supervision’ in Part 1 of the new code.
  • Appendix 4 of the old code has been removed.
Code of practice 2000 Compliance code 2018
  • Appendix 1 – What is a Code of Practice?
  • Appendix 2 – Information, instruction and training
  • Appendix 3 – Further advice on risk assessment and risk control
  • Appendix 4 – Worked examples
  • Appendix 5 – Worksheets (risk assessment)
  • Appendix A – The compliance framework
  • Appendix B – Hazardous manual handling identification sheet
  • Appendix C – Discomfort survey
  • Appendix D – Risk assessment and control worksheet
  • Appendix E – Controlling MSD risk through design
  • Appendix F – Useful resources for controlling the risk of MSD

Further information

Further information about the Hazardous manual handling compliance code, contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800136089 from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

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