4. Reduce the risk of injury

Measures to control risk will vary depending on the task. Reduce the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling operations you can't avoid. Where possible, provide mechanical help, for example a sack trolley or hoist. Where this is not reasonably practicable, explore changes to the task, the load and the working environment.

If manual lifting is the only option then there are things you can do to reduce the risk, including:

  • make the load smaller or lighter and easier to grasp
  • break up large consignments into smaller loads
  • modify the workplace to reduce carrying distances, twisting movements, or the need to lift things from floor level or above shoulder height
  • change the work routine to avoid excessive work rates and tight deadlines
  • improve the environment – more space, better flooring, extra lighting or changing the air temperature can make manual handling easier and safer
  • make sure the person doing the lifting has been trained to lift as safely as possible

There is more information on manual handling risks and how to control them in our leaflet about manual handling.

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