Introduction to the MAC tool

This page explains how the MAC tool works, and how to begin to use it.

How it works

The MAC uses a numerical score and a traffic light approach to indicate the level of risk.
It can be used to look at three types of manual handling operation:

  • lifting by one person
  • carrying by one person
  • team handling

For each of these types of handling there is a flow chart which leads you, step-by-step, through each factor of the manual handling operation, enabling you to evaluate and grade the degree of risk. Each flow chart is supported by an assessment guide which helps you to score the task you are observing. A graph will help you to assess the risk for the load and frequency of a lifting/carrying operation. No graph is provided for team handling because of the complicated and diverse nature of the operations.

Using the MAC tool to score the video case studies

One way to learn how to use the MAC tool is to practise applying it to the six video case studies on the website.

You can view and print out the complete MAC tool leaflet. It is advisable to read the assessment guide for each manual handling operation before using the MAC tool to score the video case study. This way you can become familiar with the correct assessment procedure. We also recommend that you view the entire task before starting your assessment. This will allow you to get a 'feel' for the whole task.

When you are assessing each risk factor, always consider the 'worst-case scenario'. An example of this would be assessing an worker lifting from a pallet which is on the floor. At the time you do the assessment the pallet may be half full and the worker may be lifting from waist height. Remember at some point the worker will be lifting from the bottom level of the pallet and therefore will be at greater risk.

To view the case studies, select from the following:

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Updated 2021-01-27