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Toolbox Talks: Manual Handling

Author: Fetch Recruitment

Published date: 2023/10

Manual Handling

Manual Handling

Manual Handling are tasks that require a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry, or otherwise move, hold, or restrain any person or thing that involves one or more of the following: 

  • Repetitive movement

  • Repetitive or sustained force

  • High or sudden force

  • Sustained / awkward postures

  • Vibration

Musculoskeletal Injury

Often called overexertion; musculoskeletal injuries are one of the most frequent injuries within construction. Even so, it is possible to lift, lower, or carry a load to avoid risk of injury. The risk of injury from lifting depends on several factors, including:

  • Size, shape & weight of the load

  • Hand placement

  • Position of the load

  • Twisting motions

  • Number of lifts performed

Safe Lifting Principles

Proper care should be taken while lifting as it is particularly important to stay healthy and prevent injury to your back while on the job.


  • Avoid & reduce manual handling where possible

  • Ask for help

  • Use mechanical aids where provided

  • Clear your route before lifting

  • Place feet hip width apart

  • Bend your knees

  • Get a good grip

  • Back straight, lift with your legs

  • Move smoothly & safely

  • Hold the load close to your body

  • Push, rather than pull



  • Attempt to lift an object without assessing its weight first

  • Carry objects over long distances

  • Bend your back

  • Attempt to lift an object if it is an awkward shape or size