Manual Handling Policy

Mission Statement

At St. Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School we encourage, in all members of the community, a shared sense of awe and wonder as we grow closer to God. We foster creativity and inquiring minds, learning through collaboration and interdependence to become motivated and lifelong learners.’

1. Definition

Manual Handling Operations means any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force (Manual Handling Operations Regulations, 1992).

2. Rationale

It is our intention as an organisation, to provide relevant staff with training in moving and handling to enable us to provide high quality care for pupils throughout the school, maintaining their respect, dignity and self –reliance.

Wherever and whenever necessary, specialist resources and equipment are required, the school will prioritise the provision of such equipment on behalf of specific pupils. Relevant staff working with the pupils will liaise with the physiotherapists, occupational therapist, and manufacturers to ensure the equipment meets the needs of the pupils.

In all aspects of personal care, the priorities are to maintain individuals’ dignity at all times and to promote mutual self-respect. Pupils will be encouraged to assist in their moving and handling transfers, promoting independence, where appropriate.

The school will endeavour to provide all necessary specialist equipment to enable staff to work safely and efficiently.

3. Objectives

The school will comply with the requirements of the law as stated in:

  • The Health and Safety At Work Act 1974.
  • The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (amended 2004-MHO regs).
  • All other legislations, or parts thereof, relating to manual handling and provision and maintenance of equipment.
  • Follow the Manual Handling Policy.

The school will prevent musculo-skeletal injury to staff as a result of manual handling by reducing the risk to the lowest level possible.

The assessment and reduction of risks from manual handling aims to achieve:

  • A safe working environment.
  • Suitable and sufficient equipment to reduce manual handling risk.
  • Well trained staff who take care of their own health and safety, and that of others.

4. Risk Management System

The following will be taken into consideration which may affect individual capabilities of employees:

General physical capability - A risk of injury will be considered unacceptable if a specific manual handling technique cannot be carried out by most reasonably fit, healthy employees. An employee can decide whether or not they can manage the tasks to be performed. However, the Headteacher has a duty to ensure the employee is physically capable of completing the task without injury.

People with health problems - Conditions such as recent injury, hernia, back problems, heart conditions or other risk increasing factors should be taken into consideration before an employee is asked to do manual handling work. If there is any uncertainty, medical advice should be sought. The Disability Discrimination Act may require employers to make adjustments if they would allow a person with a disability to do the work safely and satisfactorily.

New and expectant mothers - The law requires employers to make allowances for pregnant women and those at high risk after childbirth, for about 6 months, to prevent injury from the physical work involved in manual handling procedures. A risk assessment must be carried out on the expectant mother and reviewed monthly as long as the expectant mother continues to work.

Young workers - Extra care is required to ensure that young people, up to the age of 18 years, are not exposed to the risks from manual handling. Extra precautions or close supervision are needed.

5. Risk Management Process

Responsibility for assessment - The Headteacher has the responsibility to ensure that there are suitable and sufficient assessments of manual handling tasks within the school which are regularly reviewed.

Manual Handling Adviser - School staff will take advice from relevant professionals to ensure the competency of person or persons trained to carry out risk assessments. Professional advice (from physiotherapists and occupational therapist) will be taken regarding safe systems of work and monitor for good practice.

Reducing the Risk

A safe working environment will be provided that allows manual handling procedures to be carried out with minimal risks to employees ‘as is reasonably practical’.

Manual handling issues will be considered at the design stage of every refurbishment or new building. Ergonomics advice will be sought if necessary.

Equipment will be provided to prevent manual handling wherever possible. Where manual handling cannot be prevented, equipment will be provided to reduce the risk, in consultation with outside professionals.


The Headteacher along with the SENCo/Inclusion Leader will ensure:

  • Manual handling risk assessments have been carried out and updates as necessary or at yearly intervals.
  • Following risk assessments, a remedial action plan has been documented and acted upon in the given timescale.
  • Employees are monitored to check safe systems of work are being followed.
  • All employees have manual handling training and records of attendance are kept.
  • Manual handling accidents or incidents are fully investigated and followed up as necessary.
  • Liaison with OTs and physiotherapists to give a multi-disciplinary approach to manual handling issues.

Employees must:

  • Be aware of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.
  • Attend manual handling training sessions provided by the school.
  • Seek assistance and extra training if their level of knowledge is insufficient for a new situation.
  • Be aware of their individual capability for manual handling and not exceed it.
  • Report all manual handling accidents, injuries or near misses using the accident/injury reporting system complying with The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (R.I.D.D.O.R) 1995.

end faq

September 2014