How Often Should Manual Handling Training Be Carried Out?

How Often Should Manual Handling Training Be Carried Out
How Often Should Manual Handling Training Be Carried Out

How Often Should Manual Handling Training Be Carried Out?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Manual handling tasks are the cause of over a third of all workplace injuries according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Poor manual handling practices cause musculoskeletal injuries and in 2020/2021 around 470,000 workers suffered these types of injury. It is no wonder, then, that ensuring your workforce is properly trained in manual handling best practice is a big part of ensuring that your main assets all go home safely at the end of every day and of course, are able to come back in the next day!

Before we go into the training, let’s take a look at what the law says around manual handling.



Manual Handling Legislation

The primary piece of legislation covering health and safety at work is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and this lays down the general duties which fall to employers and employees, which at their most basic are that employers must provide:

  • Adequate training of staff to ensure health and safety procedures are understood and adhered to
  • Adequate welfare provisions for staff at work
  • A safe working environment that is properly maintained and where operations within it are conducted safely
  • Suitable provision of relevant information, instruction and supervision

The Act also requires employees to look after themselves and their co-workers as well as co-operate fully with all health and safety requirements imposed by the employer.

As far as the risk posed by manual handling, this is specifically covered by the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous amendments) Regulation 2002. Under these Regulations an employer is duty bound to, in the first instance, totally avoid the need for manual handling and, where this is not possible, carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and mitigate all risks to the lowest practicable level.

When you put these two pieces of legislation together it is clear that both knowledge of the legislation and what it requires and adequate training around manual handling practices is a legal requirement for all employers. OK, so we’ve covered the basics of the legislation, but what exactly is manual handling?

How Often Should Manual Handling Training Be Carried Out - picture of a man with a pallet truck

What Is Manual Handling?

Manual handling is the transporting or supporting of a load by hand or bodily force. This includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or otherwise moving loads. A load can be any object from a person to an object to an animal. Essentially this covers everything from picking up a ream of paper from the floor to pushing a large load on a pallet truck or carrying a box. An employer’s risk assessments should pick up any manual handling tasks that need addressing.

Who Needs Manual Handling Training?

Who, then, needs to undergo manual handling training? In essence, anyone who is either going to carry out any manual handling activities or a manual handing risk assessment needs to be trained in manual handling techniques and legislation. The training should be tailored to your specific manual handling tasks and should cover the right techniques as well as the correct use of any equipment provided to reduce the risk.

How Often Should Manual Handling Training Be Carried Out?

There is no definite timeframe set down in law, but as a general rule of thumb refresher training as standard every 1-2 years is sensible. Outside of this, training should be refreshed if there are any changes to the legislation, if new tasks are introduced which require different handling techniques or there is an increase in incidents in your workplace which would suggest poor practice.

Manual Handling Training

Here at Chris Garland Training we have the right manual handling training packages for you, from short, on-line introduction to Manual Handling training to custom on site training tailored to your exact workplace needs. Why not contact us to discuss your needs and we will walk you through the options and help you choose the right training package for your workplace to keep you compliant with the law and keep your workplace a safe place to be.


Chris Garland. Founder and lead instructor at Chris Garland Training.
Chris Garland. Founder and lead instructor at Chris Garland Training.
How Often Should Manual Handling Training Be Carried Out?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.