Moving and handling in health and social care

Please note if you are a provider registered with CQC, and with premises located in England, CQC is the relevant regulatory body for patient safety matters

These pages are for employers and employees in the health and social care sectors involved in moving and handling, particularly those who assess moving and handling needs and carry out handling activities. Owing to the variety of care settings some of this guidance may be useful for people who receive care within their own home.

Moving and handling is a key part of the working day for most employees; from moving  equipment, laundry, catering, supplies or waste to assisting residents in moving.

Poor moving and handling practice can lead to:

  • back pain and musculoskeletal disorders, which can lead to inability to work
  • moving and handling accidents – which can injure both the person being moved and the employee
  • discomfort and a lack of dignity for the person being moved

You must take action to prevent or minimise the risk of injury.

What you need to know

The moving and handling of people is a regular task in health and social care, which if not done safely, can cause serious injury to service users and staff. These pages concentrate on reducing the risk from people handling. For general information on factors that can lead to injury, visit the musculoskeletal disorder web pages. For further information on risk assessments for inanimate/object handling please see the manual handling web pages.

What the law says

The following legislation may be relevant for assessing moving and handling risks:

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Updated 2022-03-02