Lifting and Handling in the Workplace  

Lifting and handling is a common task in many workplaces. However, it can also be a hazardous task, and can lead to serious injuries if not done safely.

Common injuries from lifting and handling 

The most common injuries from lifting and handling are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain. MSDs can develop over time because of repeated or strenuous lifting and handling activities. Other common injuries from lifting and handling include slips, trips, and falls. 

Risk factors for lifting and handling injuries 

  • The weight of the load 
  • The shape and size of the load 
  • The distance the load needs to be lifted or carried 
  • The frequency of lifting and handling activities 
  • The posture used when lifting and handling 
  • The environment in which lifting and handling activities take place 


How to prevent lifting and handling injuries 

  • Assess the risks: Employers should assess the risks associated with all lifting and handling activities in their workplace. This includes identifying the weight of the loads, the shape and size of the loads, the distance the loads need to be lifted or carried, and the frequency of lifting and handling activities. 
  • Eliminate or reduce the risks: Employers should eliminate or reduce the risks associated with lifting and handling activities as far as is reasonably practicable. This may involve using mechanical aids, such as forklifts or cranes, or redesigning the workplace to reduce the need for lifting and handling. 
  • Provide training: Employers should provide training to all employees who perform lifting and handling activities. This training should cover the risks associated with lifting and handling, and how to lift and handle loads safely. 
  • Use safe lifting techniques: Employees should use safe lifting techniques when lifting and handling loads. This includes bending at the knees, keeping the load close to the body, and avoiding twisting the back. 


Safe lifting techniques 

  • Bend at the knees: When lifting a load, bend at your knees, not your waist. This will help to protect your back from injury. 
  • Keep the load close to the body: When lifting a load, keep it as close to your body as possible. This will help to reduce the strain on your back. 
  • Avoid twisting the back: Avoid twisting your back when lifting and handling loads. If you need to turn, turn your whole body, not just your back. 
  • Get help: If you are lifting a heavy load, or if you are unsure about how to lift a load safely, seek assistance from a colleague. 


Additional safety considerations 

  • Wear appropriate footwear: When lifting and handling loads, it is important to wear appropriate footwear. This footwear should be sturdy and have a good grip. 
  • Be aware of the environment: Be aware of the environment in which you are lifting and handling loads. Avoid lifting and handling loads in slippery or wet conditions and be careful of uneven surfaces. 
  • Communicate with others: If you are lifting and handling a load with other people, communicate clearly with each other. This will help to prevent accidents. 


By following the safety tips listed above, employers and employees can help to prevent lifting and handling injuries. 

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on a wide range of EHS topics including manual handling 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment templates covering lifting and handling 
  • Management system to document control the policy on lifting safely at work 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of lifting/handling working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on lifting safely at work 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving lifting and handling both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding the handling of equipment and tools to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 




Share on social media

Arrange your demonstration

Let us show you how we can transform your compliance management

Choose a date and time for your demo (no obligation) and we will be in touch.

Latest Updates & Information

The future of Health and Safety software – today! Leaders in EHS Software, GRC Software, safety, risk, governance and compliance software