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Pushing and pulling loads

Pushing and pulling of loads is a way to reduce or avoid manual lifting and carrying. Putting the load on a trolley and pushing it is one way of avoiding carrying.

So, when people push and pull instead of lifting and carrying, less effort is required, but there may still be a risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which you need to assess and eliminate or reduce.

Although you may think that the Manual Handling Operations Regulations only apply to the lifting, lowering and carrying of loads, they also apply to pushing and pulling. This ‘pushing and pulling’ guide should help you comply with the regulations and control the risks to your workers.

A risk assessment tool for pushing and pulling operations (the RAPP tool) is available:

Updated 2016-09-08