Moving and handling

Some generic risk factors and control measures for mobility assistance

Risk factor Activity Control measures
Moving and handling students

Transferring student between equipment:

  • chair to wheelchair;
  • wheelchair to standing frame;
  • chair to changing table or toilet.
Moving student from floor in or after an emergency

Use slide sheets, banana boards, hoists, turntables and chairs with removable side arms and/or toilet risers.

Always refer to individual care plan to ensure correct equipment and moves are used.

Use inflatable cushion to bring student to more suitable height to move.  In a confined space, eg a toilet cubicle, consider use of slide sheet to move student to position where cushion can be used.
Moving and handling objects Moving equipment, furniture. Plan the move to ensure adequate space, equipment and personnel.  Use trolleys or other handling aids or hoists wherever possible to move items.  Use information on loading to inform the risk assessment.
Posture of employees

Leaning/stooping over desks/tables.

Small equipment eg chairs.

Holding student during treatment.

Use ergonomically assessed workstations.  Sit wherever possible rather than stoop.

Employees to use adult chairs wherever possible.

Wherever possible adopt best, most comfortable posture before starting procedure, try to use equipment to support weight if possible eg use standing frame while treatment administered (rather than the carer providing support).
Pushing and pulling Pushing and pulling wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

Ensure equipment is regularly maintained to ensure wheels run smoothly.

Ensure floor surface kept in good order to allow smooth running of wheels.

Good housekeeping to avoid obstacles and provide ramps where needed.

Avoid steep slopes.
Potential or unpredictable behaviour Moving and handling students who may move suddenly or struggle Talk to the student; 'unpredictable' behaviour is more likely when students do not understand what is happening to them.  Plan the move in advance, refer to the individual care plan, anticipate movement where possible and make sure all equipment is available and ready to use.
Environmental issues, space constraints and floor surfaces All activities. Good housekeeping to ensure routes kept clear, free from obstructions and slip/trip hazards.  Plan activities to ensure easy movement and sufficient space for handling tasks.  Ensure refurbishment plans consider moving/handling needs.


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Updated 2023-08-16