This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

Carrying operations

Use this guide to help you assess a carrying operation. To carry out the assessment of a carrying operation the following factors need to considered:

Please read through the following assessment guide carefully. It gives advice on how to score the different factors involved in a carrying operation. After reading through the guide click the link at the bottom of the page to view the videos.

A - Load weight

Note the weight of the load and the frequency of the carrying operation. Read off risk banding on the load/frequency graph and enter the colour band and numerical score on the score sheet. If the colour band is purple the task should be examined very closely, such operations may represent a serious risk of injury and should come under close scrutiny, particularly when the entire weight of the load is carried by one person.

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 4

redScore= 6

purpleScore=10

50kg or more

arrow facing down
B - Hand distance from lower back

Observe the task and examine the position of the load and the operative's hands as the lift progresses. Use the following illustrations to guide your assessment:

Close- upper arms aligned vertically and upright trunk

 

 

 


Close- upper arms aligned vertically and upright trunk

Moderate - Upper arms angled away from body







Moderate - Upper arms angled away from body

Moderate - Trunk bent forward


Moderate - Trunk bent forward

Far - upper arms angled away from body and trunk bent forward
Far - upper arms angled away from body and trunk bent forward

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 3

redScore= 6

arrow facing down
C - Asymmetrical trunk/load

Operative's posture and the stability of the load are known to be risk factors which are associated with musculoskeletal injury. The following illustrations should guide your assessment.

Load and hands symmetrical in front of the trunk
Load and hands symmetrical in front of the trunk

Load and hands asymmetrical, upright body position
Load and hands asymmetrical, upright body position

One handed carrying to the individual’s side
One handed carrying to the individual's side

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 1

redScore=2

arrow facing down
D - Postural constraint

If the movements of the operative are unhindered, the colour band is green and the numerical score is 0. If the operative adopts restricted postures during the carry (eg narrow doorway making operative turn or move load to get through) the colour band is amber and the numerical score is 1. If the posture is heavily restricted, the colour band is red and the numerical score is 3 (eg carrying loads in a forward bent posture in areas with a low ceiling such as a cellar).

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 1

redScore= 3

arrow facing down
E - Grip on load

Containers with well designed handles or handholds, fit for purpose.

Loose parts enabling comfortable grip

Containers with poorer handles or handholds

Fingers to be clamped at 90 degrees under the container

Containers of poor design. Loose parts, irregular objects, bulky or difficult to handle

Non-rigid sacks or animate objects (animals and people)

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 1

redScore= 2

arrow facing down
F - Floor surface

Dry and clean floor in good condition

Dry floor but poorer condition, worn or uneven

Contaminated/wet or steep sloping floor or unstable footing

greenScore=0

amberScore= 1

redScore= 2

arrow facing down

G - Other environmental factors

Observe the work environment and score if the lifting operation takes place: in extremes of temperature: with strong air movements: or in extreme lighting conditions (dark, bright or poor contrast). If the task involves more than one of the risk factors (ie extreme temperatures and strong air movements) total the scores on the score sheet.

greenNo factors = 0

amberOne factor = 1

redTwo factors or more = 2(3 factors=3)

arrow facing down
H - Carry distance

Observe the task and estimate the total distance that the load is carried (not the distance 'as the crow flies').

2m - 4m

greenScore= 0

4m - 10m

amberScore= 1

10m or more

redScore= 3

arrow facing down
I - Obstacles en route

Observe the route over which the carrying task is performed. If the route involves carrying a load up a steep slope or steps or around tripping hazards, enter A (amber) for the colour band and 2 for the numerical score on the score sheet. If the task involves carrying the load up ladders, enter R (red) for the colour band and 3 for the numerical score. If the task involves more than one of the risk factors (ie steep slope and then up ladders) total the scores on the score sheet. Enter the ladder height data and/or angle in the task description box on the score sheet.

greenScore= 0

amberScore= 2

redScore= 3

arrow facing down
Other individual risk factors

Consider individual risk factors such as age and psychosocial risk factors like job control or opportunities for social interaction etc.

You now need to go to the previous page to:

  • view the two video case studies
  • carry out two online assessments

Previous page

Updated 2012-03-22